Islands in the sea, the land, and the sky

Islands in the sea, the land, and the sky

Location: Bergen, Norway

Host: Suzette Flantua and Aaron O’Dea

Short talks and Q&A with researchers exploring the dynamic histories of connectivity and isolations in island-like systems around the world.


Over the last 2.6 million years (the Quaternary period) the Earth has alternated between glacial and interglacial climates. As glaciers and ice sheets waxed and waned so did temperatures and sea levels. The consequence has been that the shape and configurations of islands in the seas and sky islands in mountains has changed dramatically. This event will showcase a diverse set of projects from around the world that are documenting these dynamic changes to our land and seascapes and exploring their consequences on the evolution and ecology of marine and terrestrial life; as well as our own history. This raises the interesting question of how strong the analogy is between true islands and island-like systems, such as urban islands and sky islands in mountains. 

Each speaker will showcase their work for c. 15-20 min followed by c. 10 min of questions


Max Titcomb (Smithsonian tropical Research Institute & University of California Berkeley):  Post-glacial sea level rise and the changing shape of the Isthmus of Panamá (

Sietze Norder (Leiden University): Quaternary sea level fluctuations and endemism patterns on oceanic islands ( ) & (

Yuval Itescu (Freie Universität Berlin): Rethinking the analogy between true islands and island-like systems (https://doi/abs/10.1111/ecog.03951)

Suzette Flantua (University of Bergen): Flickering connectivity systems of mountain islands and true islands. (https://doi/full/10.1111/jbi.13607 & https://doi/full/10.1111/geb.13155)

September 16 @ 16:00
16:00 — 18:00 (2h)

Bergen, Europe, Norway

Aaron O Dea, Suzette Flantua