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Extinct elephants, rhinos and mammoths? Why should conservationists care about them today?

PhD defence, Tuesday 12 May 2020. Simon D. Schowanek.

2020.04.29 | Dennis Pedersen

Date Tue 12 May
Time 09:00 12:00
Location Aarhus C
Simon D. Schowanek

Simon D. Schowanek

When humans migrated out of Africa, an extinction wave took place that led to the disappearance of many of the world’s large terrestrial herbivores (e.g. mammoths, rhinos, bison etc.). These large herbivores also have unique ecological effects on ecosystems, so during his PhD studies, Simon D. Schowanek investigated what happened to ecosystems when these large herbivores went extinct. In addition, he explored whether bringing back bringing back herbivores could undo some of the ecological changes that took place when herbivores went extinct. Understanding how these herbivore extinction have shaped ecosystems helps us understand what ecosystems looked like before human impacts, and it help us conserve many of the species that are currently threatened with extinction.

Time: Tuesday 12 May 2020 at 09:00
Place:  The PhD defence will be held online via Zoom. To receive a link to the event, please send an e-mail to  Dennis Pedersen dp@bios.au.dk or Signe Normand signe.normand@bios.au.dk    
Title of PhD thesis: The land without the elephant: how herbivore extinctions during the late Quaternary affect modern ecosystems 
Contact information: Simon D Schowanek, e-mail:simon.schowanek@bios.au.dk, tel.: +4571804344
Members of the assessment committee:
Reader Andrew J. Tanentzap, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Associate Professor Carl-Gustaf Thulin, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden
Professor Signe Normand, Department of Biology, Aarhus University, Denmark (chair) 
Main supervisor:
Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
Dr. Matt Davis, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USA 
Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.