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Plenary Session

Janzen-Connell beyond 50: Tropical plant-enemy interactions in a changing world

Keynote

Liza Comita

Wednesday July 13; 8:00 hrs

Dr. Liza Comita is a Professor of Tropical Forest Ecology in the School of the Environment at Yale University (USA). She is also co-director of the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama). Dr. Comita earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Master's degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Plant Biology from the University of Georgia. She was previously an assistant professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology at The Ohio State University and held postdoctoral positions at the University of Minnesota, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. Dr. Comita’s research focuses on the ecology of tropical tree species and how spatial and temporal variation in survival at early life stages act to determine species diversity, abundance, and composition in tropical forests. Her current projects include studies on the role of pathogens in promoting tree species coexistence, as well as on the role of water availability and drought events in shaping current and future tree species' distributions in the tropics.