Dr. Marina Alberti recently led the 2023 Seattle Urban Eco-Evo Research Collaboration Network Workshop, hosting a total of 40 in-person and virtual attendees from 25 universities around the globe. The Urban Eco Evo NET is a NSF funded collaboration research network to advance the study and understanding of urban eco-evolutionary dynamics and potential implications for human and ecological wellbeing.
The well-attended hybrid event, which ran from February 2-4 at the Center for Urban Horticulture, was funded through the National Science Foundation’s Research Collaboration Network program. The participants, which were a mix of senior faculty and early career researchers from over 25 universities, engaged in brainstorming and lively discussions about critical topics and research gaps in urban eco-evolutionary dynamics.
Workshop sessions, many of which were led by early career researchers, explored the historical, cultural, and socio political drivers of ecology and evolution in cities, the eco-evo data hidden in non-English scientific literature, the eco-evolutionary potential of nature-based solutions, and designed a toolkits for global urban evo-evo research and communication. The workshop discussions aimed to shape the future research agenda of the research network to and to identify key strategic areas of actions that will allow us to move in this direction.
Going forward, the network is excited to explore urban nature based solutions, legacy effects, how eco-evolutionary processes contribute to urban resilience, how to conduct urban eco-evo research at the global scale, how grassroots efforts to improve urban habitats are influencing eco-evolutionary dynamics, how to incorporate participatory science and engage the community in urban eco-evo research, how to can share findings with city planners and designers, and how cities can be designed to enhance evolutionary potential.
The workshop was well received by the participants. They actively engaged in the activities and discussions, and provided positive feedback.