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Jason J. Head
Group Leader
University of Cambridge


A. Michelle Lawing
Group Leader
Texas A&M University


Jenny L. McGuire
Group Leader
Georgia Institution of Technology


Johannes Müller
Museum für Naturkunde


Gregory P. Dietl
Steering Group
Paleontological Research Institute (PRI)


Jussi T. Eronen
Steering Group
University of Helsinki


Mikael Fortelius
Steering Group
University of Helsinki


P. David Polly
Steering Group
Indiana University


Christoph Scheidegger
Steering Group
Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL


Nils Chr. Stenseth
Steering Group
University of Oslo



Symposia, Short Courses, and Public Events

Traits, past, present, and future: Quantitative approaches to paleontology, conservation, and climate change biology in Africa.
Nairobi, Kenya, 6-8 March 2017.

We organized an international meeting and training workshop in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi March 6-8 2017, where we included new colleagues into iCCB discussions and created a hands-on laboratory experience for local students interested in paleontology. This workshop was responsive to the IUBS request to iCCB to provide training and begin to develop collaborations in Africa. We had 22 scientists from countries including Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Cameroon, Chile, Germany, France, Finland, United Kingdom, and United States, as well as 20 students from the university in Nairobi. The meeting consisted of talks, discussions, and demonstrations. The overall focus was primarily to better understand how paleontology can inform conservation and to discuss quantitative methods that lend themselves to this connection. There is a wealth of modern data that help inform quantitative methods, but the deeper we go into the fossil record, the less information we have about paleoecosystems. There was an acknowledgement during the discussions that more paleontological work in describing depositional environments, paleofaunas, and paleofloras is required to realize the full potential of ecometrics. Concerns about Africans access to training, literature, and research experiences were raised and discussed at length. (Organized by: Jason J. Head, A. Michelle Lawing, F. Kyalo Manthi, Johannes Mller, Jussi Eronen)

Earth-Life Transitions
Short Course at the Geological Society of America annual meeting
Baltimore, Maryland, 31 October 2015

This short course covered events involving geochemical cycles and the origin of complex life in the Proterozoic; climate forcing and water use by plants in the Paleozoic; dust cycles and productivity in the Permian; soils and vegetation at the K-Pg boundary; and the biotic effects of climatic transitions of the Neogene. It highlighted ecometric methods developed through iCCB, as well as sequence stratigraphy, functional trait interactions, geochemistry, and fitting models to study the impact of competing factors driving biotic change. (Organised by Polly, Head, and Fox; talks by Marshall, Polly, Planavsky, Reinhard, Soreghan, Ritterbush, Smith, Sheldon, Wilson, and Fox).

Integrating biology and paleobiology to enhance conservation of terrestrial ecosystems on a rapidly changing planet
Symposium at University of Californa - Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 14 September 2015

The symposium and its associated workshop is designed to develop a roadmap for biologists and paleobiologists to work together to maximize conservation successes in the face of todays unusually rapid global change. It focuses on terrestrial ecosystems and species, and brings together leading biologists, paleobiologists, policy makers and environmental lawyers.(co-Organised by Eronen, Head, Polly, Schnitzler from iCCB and Barnosky and Hadly from the Berkeley Global Change Biology program).

Ecometrics: Quantitative Trait-based Approaches to Biotic Change
Symposium at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting
Berlin, 8 November 2014

This symposium featured ecometric theory and methods, as well as research applications with the aim of raising awareness of the questions and techniques in the vertebrate paleontology research community and introducing non-paleontological trait-based researchers to the SVP community in order to promote cross-disciplinary interactions. (Organised by Eronen & Polly; Talks by Badgley, Bernor, Janis, Stegner, Schnitzler, Stenseth, Werdelin, Fritz, Meachen, and Head)

Research Workshops

Strategic Planning
Berlin, Germany 5th 12th December 2018

This leadership workshop reviewed the activities from 2018 and specified future plans for post-iCCB activities, which will form part of an application to be submitted to the IUBS prior to the General Assembly in 2019.

Working Group Meeting
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2018

This meeting was to discuss new ideas with Ethiopian partners at the Ethiopia National Museum. Next to scientific research, these discussions also concerned capacity building, such as future teaching & training workshops similar to what iCCB had organized in Kenya in 2017.

Working Group Meeting
Cambridge, UK, 1st May 6th May 2018

This was a small workshop intended for intense on-hands planning and research. The result from this workshop was a letter of intent to apply to a joint NSF-NERC program for a research initiative in Africa. In addition to research, we developed a preliminary plan for a training program in East Africa.

Conservation Paleobiology in Africa
Cambridge, UK 1-7 May 2017

A focus group meeting on conservation paleobiology and ecometrics was held in Cambridge, UK.

Strategic Planning
Berlin, Germany 8-14 December 2017

Steering committee meeting December 2017, Berlin, Germany. A meeting of iCCB leadership was held in Berlin to plan research projects. (Hosted by Mller; Attended by Head, Eronen, Lawing, McGuire, and Fortelius).

Ideas Meeting
Berlin, Germany 23 November 2016

An ideas meeting was held in Berlin discuss potential future research projects with iCCB. (Hosted by Mller; Attended by Head, Eronen, Fortelius, Bibi).

Conservation on a Rapidly Changing Planet Workshop
Berkeley, California, 15 September 2015

iCCB met jointly with the Berkeley Climate Change Biology program to develop a position paper for practical approaches to responding to global change. (co-Organised by Eronen, Head, Polly, Schnitzler from iCCB and Barnosky and Hadly from the Berkeley Global Change Biology program)

See meeting program for further info.

Ecosystem services and traits
Helsinki, 9-14 November 2014

This meeting had two primary goals: 1) to create a sound idea about traits at the ecosystem level and ecosystem services, how to measure ecosystem services with traits, how to assess future changes in ecosystem services, and how to utilize information from the fossil record to help establish a baseline of past change in ecosystem services. We will consider provisioning services as well as the more challenging services to quantify, such as cultural and regulating services. This goal will result in an active group working on a paper. 2) To better understand how traits can be used to measure ecosystem services in the context of civic planning and how in reality those could be implemented. This goal will result in a hands-on approach to effect real change in civic planning. (Organised by Fred & Eronen).

Ecometrics, Phylogeny, Fossils and Biotic Change
College Station, Texas, 6-8 April 2014

Plenary presentations by Marvalee H. Wake and Nils Chr. Stenseth and a series of working group meetings were the main features of an iCCB meeting held at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The plenary talks were well attended by a general academic audience representing many fields. The working groups expanded on projects already underway and proposed new ones. These are reflected in the projects outlined in the webpages (see Projects). (Organised by Lawing, Polly & Eronen, hosted by Lawing)

See meeting program for further info.

Traits, Niches and Climate as Common Coinage
Birmensdorf, 5-7 September 2012

Birmensdorf meeting continued the activities from Frankfurt. The meeting was hosted by the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL), located in Birmensdorf near Zrich, Switzerland. The main focus was to established active working groups that will work on their own, concentrating to producing publications. These are reflected in the projects outlined in the webpages (see Projects). (Organised by Polly & Eronen, Hosted by Scheidegger)

See Invitation leaflet for further info.

Modelling Species, Traits, and Climate
Frankfurt, 3-4 October 2011

Frankfurt meeting concentrated on combining traits, modeling and climate together. It took place at the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F), Frankfurt, Germany. The main focus was to identify key research projects and responsible people. We also established preliminary working groups that would correspond between meetings. (Organised by Eronen & Polly, Hosted by Mosbrugger & Hickler)

See Invitation leaflet for further info.

Strategic Planning
Helsinki, 13-15 September 2010

A focused meeting of core iCCB researchers was held in Helsinki to plan key events and research projects. (Organised by Fred & Fortelius, Hosted by Fortelius)

See Meeting documents for further info.

History Matters
Oslo, 3-4 March 2009

An iCCB working group meeting was convened at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, at the Academic heart of Oslo. The meeting concentrated on making a concrete outline for a conceptual paper(s) for the iCCB, that later were published as Eronen et al. 2010 and Polly et al. 2011. (Organised by Fred & Fortelius, Hosted by Stenseth)

See Meeting documents for further info.

Integrative Climate Change Biology
Helsinki, 22-27 September 2008

The Helsinki meeting was the formal launch iCCB. It took place in Sofia Culture Centre, on the outskirts of Helsinki. The meeting was dynamic, fun, and the products included a clear path forward and first plans for publications. (Organised by Fred & Fortelius, Hosted by Fortelius)

See Invitation leaflet for further info.

Small Group Research Meetings

Trait Modeling Working Group
Bloomington 18-24 Feb 2013

This small working-group meeting focused on developing a strategy for modeling the trait-based response of biotic communities to environmental and climatic change. The goal of the modeling is to bridge the scales between ecological and paleontological time in order to compare patterns and rates of response on both timescales. The modeling effort will also allow the trade-offs between migration rates, evolutionary rates, rates of environmental change, and rates of extinction to be better understood. This workshop resulted in a first prototype numerical model. (Organised by Polly & Eronen, Hosted by P. David Polly)

Database Meeting
Helsinki 1-5 December 2013

This planning meeting began the assembly of trait, climate, and environmental data sets for dissemination via the iCCB website. The goal of this database is to facilitate trait-based research for climate change biology. The first data being assembled includes globally resampled geographic ranges of mammals, a suite of mammalian traits, and gobally resampled climate and environment layers. (Organised and hosted by Eronen)

Null Models and Trait Modeling Working Groups
Frankfurt, Germany 6 - 9 July 2015 and 21 - 24 July 2015

This small work group meeting focused on targeted work toward three goals: 1) finalizing and resubmitting an ecometrics null model paper, 2) planning for future trait modeling work, and 3) brainstorming the future of iCCB. The workshop occurred over two multi day sessions in July 2015 in Frankfurt at the Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (Bik-F) and Senckenberg Research Institute. The workshop resulted in the submission of the ecometric null model paper to Ecography for consideration (currently under review). Our work group also produced a list of processes and interactions that would be interesting to include into the trait modeling framework and we discussed some preliminary ideas about the future directions and iCCB collaborations. (organized by Eronen, Lawing, and Schnitzler, Hosted by Eronen and Schnitzler)

Paleo-occupancy Modeling Working Group
Merced, California 19 - 23 November 2015

This small work group meeting focused on occupancy modeling for the fossil record. Occupancy models are commonly used in ecological mark-recapture studies. Occupancy models have recently gained attention in the larger global change literature and have been used to address questions of detectability in occurrence data. Detectability is a problem that has often been acknowledged for occurrence data, but rarely statistically quantified. Occupancy models have also recently been applied to the fossil record. Our group is interested in understanding how detectability is estimated in light of various taphonomic impacts inherent in the fossil record. Specifically, we would like to understand how the relative abundance of fossil occurrences map onto the actual geographic distributions of past species. Building models of past distributions of species and quantifying their change through time allows us to project these models onto future climates to inform our understanding of how biodiversity will respond to climate change. This work group resulted in an early draft of a manuscript and a plan of action to complete work (organized by Blois, Lawing, Maguire, and McGuire, hosted by Jessica Blois)