Provost's Postdoctoral Initiative

Provost's Postdoc Symposium

Planet of Weeds: Natural Histories of the Homogeocene

March 1, 2019

10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

MSC 3708

In a 1998 essay in The Palmetto, Francis Putz proposed a new geologic epoch––the Homogeocene––to describe our current moment in planetary history. As with Crutzen and Stoermer’s Anthropocene, the Homogeocene is propelled by human action and takes the homogenization of the world’s biota as its signature crisis. Key to this process of homogenization are mundane acts of landscape destruction, the introduction of invasive species, and extinction. Putz developed the Homogeocene concept through natural history observations in Florida. In Florida, humans are destroying ecological places and proliferating harmful species at an alarming pace.

In this daylong symposium, we reactivate Putz's Homogeocene hypothesis in light of recent cross-disciplinary conversations on the Anthropocene. What does it mean to do natural history on a planet of weeds? What might an interdisciplinary Homogeocene research program look like in Florida and beyond? How might ecologists and social sciences come together to study the anthropogenic disturbances and weedy assemblages that unleash a frightening future of too few species?

The conference is organized into two sessions. In the morning, we delve into the natural history of modern Florida, probing the social and ecological dynamics of the Homogeocene through concrete case studies. In the afternoon, we ask how the Homogeocene is enacted at a planetary scale through infrastructures of global capitalism and the intercontinental traffic in species.

Please join us for a day of discussion on invasive species, disturbance ecologies, and species loss in a globalized world. Keynote presentations from:

Dr. Francis "Jack" Putz
Dr. Heather Swanson
Dr. Daniel Simberloff

please rsvp by clicking here

The Provost's Postdocs would like to thank the Department of Anthropology for their gracious support!


Schedule of Events

Time Speaker/Event
10:00am - 10:15am Welcome by Zac Caple
10:15am - 11:00am Francis "Jack" Putz (University of Florida)
11:00am - 11:45am Roundtable 1: Chris Meindl (USF), Andrea Lucky (UF), Rebecca Zarger (USF)
11:45am - 12:15pm Group Discussion
12:15pm - 1:00pm Lunch (Taco Dirty)
1:00pm - 1:45pm Heather Swanson (Aarhus University)
1:45pm - 2:00pm Group Discussion
2:00pm - 2:45pm Daniel Simberloff (University of Tennessee)
2:45pm - 3:00pm Group Discussion
3:00pm - 3:15pm Coffee Break
3:15pm - 4:00pm Roundtable 2: Christina Richards (USF), Michael Vine (USF), Diane Wallman (USF)
4:00pm - 4:30pm Final Discussion
5:00pm - 6:00pm Homogeocene Campus Tour
7:00pm Dinner for Invited Speakers and Provost's Postdocs