Biodiversity Days: Day 2 - Evening Lecture: James and Cathleen Stone Distinguished Lectureship in Biodiversity

April 25, 2015 - 5:00 pm
Love Auditorium, LSRC

5:00 p.m.    
Public Reception with E.O. Wilson & Jim McClintock Book Signing

Event is free and open to the public, but requires a ticket. Tickets can be obtained through the Duke University Box Office or by phone at 919-684-4444, or in person at the Bryan Center Box Office weekdays 11am – 6pm. Please note, charges apply to all orders placed by phone and online.

Parking in Circuit Lot (gates will be up) and along the street on Circuit drive and LaSalle Street (click on map thumbnail for a larger map image)

6:00 p.m.         
Edward O. Wilson
Introductory Comments  

Callum Roberts
Professor of Marine Conservation, University of York

“What Will It Take to Avert an Extinction Wave in the Oceans?”

Because of a family emergency Callum Roberts will not be traveling to the U.S., but will be brought in through video conferencing 

Once the lecture has begun, you can watch it online here >

Human impacts on the oceans have increased dramatically in the last half century. The intensity and breadth of these changes is imperilling marine life and biodiversity is dwindling at an alarming rate. In our favour in addressing this challenge is the fact that human impacts in the sea lag those on land by a hundred years or more and while many terrestrial species have gone extinct, most marine species are still with us. There is still hope of changing course and saving them. But we face stiff headwinds in this effort. How do we protect species when we don’t know where they are or even that they exist? How do we protect life in a realm that is hostile to most of the conservation methods used on land? In this talk, drawing on thirty years’ experience studying the sea and its protection, Callum Roberts will try to answer these questions.

Callum Roberts is Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York. His research focuses on threats to marine ecosystems and species and on finding the means to protect them. He has documented the impacts of fishing on marine life, both historic and modern, and explored the effectiveness of marine protected areas. For the last 25 years he has used his science background to make the case for stronger protection for marine life at both national and international levels.

His field research remains firmly rooted on coral reefs. On the islands of St. Lucia and Saba in the Caribbean, he has studied the effects of marine reserves closed to all fishing. Those studies revealed both the huge scale of human impacts on the sea, and the means of protecting marine ecosystems from such effects. He is now working to gain acceptance for marine reserves more widely.

His award winning book, The Unnatural History of the Sea, charts the effects of 1000 years of exploitation on ocean life. Callum’s most recent book, Ocean of Life: How Our Seas Are Changing, was shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Science Book Prize. It charts the accelerating rate of damage to the oceans, revealing how we are on a path to self-destruction without an urgent change of course. His research team provided the scientific underpinning for a network of six high seas marine protected areas covering 285,000 km2 of the north Atlantic that was declared in 2010. Callum is a WWF UK Ambassador, Trustee of Seaweb, Fauna and Flora International and Blue Marine Foundation, and Advisor to Save our Seas and The Manta Trust.