Christmas Lecture: Learning from the Past - Environmental Archives and Historical Baselines

How can environmental archives & historical baselines help conservation. Prof Samuel Turvey, ZSL, will be presenting unique insights from past baselines that allow us to make predictions for the future, & guide conservation science, planning & policy

Organiser: Linnean Events


Fossil bones

Presenting our Christmas Lecture 2020

Effective conservation to combat the global extinction crisis requires robust evidence. One possible source of useful information is the past: human activities have shaped biodiversity not just today but throughout history, and ecosystems have repeatedly recovered from environmental shocks further back throughout deep time. Different environmental archives (the fossil, archaeological, and historical records) each have the potential to help us understand ecological vulnerability and resilience, how species and landscapes respond to change, and just how much we have already lost. These unique insights from past baselines allow us to make predictions for the future, and can guide conservation science, planning and policy.

Prof Samuel Turvey
Prof Samuel Turvey

Prof Turvey's work encompasses both past and present human impacts on biodiversity, from research into the magnitude and dynamics of extinctions during the Late Pleistocene and Holocene, to science-based conservation management of some of the world's most highly threatened species.

He is also heavily involved with developing methods for conservation prioritization, and is one of the founders of ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme, which aims to support conservation projects for evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species – species that represent branches rather than twigs on the Tree of Life – in order to prevent the imminent extinction of disproportionate amounts of biodiversity.

This event will take place online using Zoom webinar.

  • This event is free and open to all
  • Registration is essential, and will close 24 hours before the event is set to begin
  • Once you have registered, just sit back and wait. You will be sent the joining links and details 24 hours before the event begins.
  • Please check your spam / junk folders for the Zoom link on the day of the event

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Lecture Recording

Video Podcast