42nd Annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium

Zoogeomorphology and Ecosystem Engineering
University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama
October 21 - 23, 2011

Final 2011 BGS Program available here

The role of animals as geomorphic agents has a long and distinguished history that extends back to the final research projects of Charles Darwin (earthworms) and William Morris Davis (coral reefs).  Since 1992, when zoogeomorphology was first defined research on the modifications animals make on the landscape has continued by an  increasing number of geomorphologists. Work on the zoogeomorphic impacts of animals has been published in the leading journals in the field of geomorphology and related disciplines, including Geomorphology, Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Physical Geography, Catena, Journal of Arid Environments, and several ecological journals.

Ecosystem Engineering is an increasingly important area of research that emerged in the mid 1990s in the ecological community.  Ecosystem Engineering examines the roles of life forms that structure their environments through activities such as burrowing, damming, or nest construction.  Papers on Ecosystem Engineering are written almost exclusively by ecologists whose works appear in a diversity of ecological journals, including Ecology, BioScience, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Oikos, European Journal of Soil Biology, Ecological Applications, Journal of Sea Research, and Journal of Tropical Ecology.

Much of the work done in these two areas, zoogeomorphology and ecosystem engineering, has been “running parallel” to each other without integrating each other, or in some cases, without even being aware of the parallel track.  It is the goal of this Binghamton Symposium to bring these two groups of complementary researchers together, to increase awareness between the two disciplines of geomorphology and ecology, and to increase future cooperation among researchers involved in examining the role animals play in sculpting the face of the Earth.


Conference organizers:

David R. Butler, Texas State University-San Marcos

Carol F. Sawyer, University of South Alabama



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