Postdoc Practice Job Talk

WHAT: Postdoc Practice Job Talk: Xiaoli Dong, Ph.D., Nicholas School of the Environment

WHEN: Tues Jan 16, 9:30-10:30 am

WHERE: Bryan Research Auditorium, Rm 103 (location: ground-level floor of

The Duke University Postdoc Association (DUPA) and the Office of Postdoctoral Services provide postdocs the opportunity to practice their job talks and get valuable feedback from a diverse and intelligent audience – this means YOU!  If you are interested in giving a practice job talk, please e-mail Ashley and Will (see below).

On Jan 16 at 9:30 am, Xiaoli Dong from the Nicholas School of the Environment will present her talk on “Ecosystem Spatial Heterogeneity: Formation, Consequences, and Ecohydrological Feedbacks” (abstract below). We encourage postdocs to attend and support Xiaoli by providing feedback! You don’t have to be in the same field of study; presenters receive valuable info from audience members about clarity, communication style, and other ‘big picture’ issues.

Title and Abstract: Ecosystem Spatial Heterogeneity: Formation, Consequences, and Ecohydrological Feedbacks

A landscape is a mosaic of biotic and abiotic patches. My research explored the formation, consequences, and ecohydrological feedbacks associated with ecosystem spatial heterogeneity. Specifically, I investigated the relative importance of stochasticity, self-organization, and physical template in forming spatial patterns, and how their relative contribution changed in time (ecosystem successional time, intra- and inter-annual variability). The spatial patterns I examined include nutrients in stream surface water, macrophytes along stream channels, and metacommunity biodiversity in a river network. I demonstrated that self-organization, physical template, and stochasticity operate simultaneously and interactively to create various ecological patterns. These drivers can also operate independently. Using a case study of Big Cypress National Preserve, I investigated the mechanisms of self-organization as a sole driver generating strikingly evenly spaced cypress domes on an otherwise homogeneous flat landscape in South Florida over the past 10,000 years via ecohydrological feedbacks at three spatial scales.

Questions? Email Ashley and Will, DUPA Professional Development Co-Chairs, and