Biodiversity and Humanity

Biodiversity and humanity

Admission/Pris: Participation including lunch is free of charge, but registration is needed

Life on our planet is amazingly diverse and of outmost importance for human well-being. Homo sapiens is the single most influential species on earth and our actions shapes the patterns of diversity that surround us. At this side-event you will hear international capacities reflect on different aspects of the topic Biodiverisity and Humanity.

09:00 Welcome

  • Nancy Knowlton: Earth optimism.
  • Paul Hebert: A mission for planetary biodiversity
  • Sujeevan Ratnasingham: Citizen science for biodiversity knowledge

10:40 Break
10:50 Maria Capa: Is it important to study bugs? The role of education for a better understanding (and management) of the world

  • Tom Gilbert: Biodiversity and Humanity – the Palaeogenomic twist
  • Hans Stenøien: Welcome to the human nature

12:00 Closure
12:10 Lunch

At the time of the symposium, the NTNU University Museum is hosting the world famous exhibition Body Worlds Vital. Please visit this website to reserve tickets:

Nancy Knowlton

In this time of uncertainty for the planet, it is easy to become discouraged and sink into despair. Conservation professionals often focus on the problems, and many thousands of examples of successful environmental actions are remarkably poorly known. Yet social scientists have shown that large problems presented without solutions do not inspire action. We need to focus on what is working, rather than writing obituaries for the planet.

Paul Hebert

A mission for planetary biodiversity. Knowledge of species diversity and distribution is crucial for conservation of life on our planet, but many species are becoming extinct before we even know what they are and which role they play in our ecosystems. DNA barcoding provides means to map and register life on earth at a greater speed than ever before and aninventory of multicellular life on earth is within reach.

Sujeevan Ratnasingham

Citizen science for biodiversity knowledge. Integrating citizen science with research and education can be hugely beneficial for our understanding of life on earth. LifeScanner allows people to actively participate in the world’s largest biodiversity initiative through sharing specimens and data, and follow the analytical progress through mobile applications.

Maria Capa

Is it important to study bugs? The role of education for a better understanding (and management) of the world. The discovery and recognition of species and assessment of patterns and processes leading to diversification are key elements of biological systematics. This basic knowledge is required for effective decision-making on conservation and sustainable management issues. Education in biology therefore needs to provide basic knowledge about biodiversity and systematics.

Tom Gilbert

Biodiversity and Humanity – the Palaeogenomic twist. Palaeogenomic studies focus on teasing out genome-scale data from the remains of long-gone organisms, and in doing so, shed direct windows into the past. With recent technological developments making such approaches more and more feasible, their potential uses are also expanding outside of their original application to study human evolution. In this talk I will showcase just how they can contribute to questions including what were the drivers of megafaunal biodiversity loss in the Pleistocene, and how we humans exploited the past biodiversity in our domestication attempts.

Hans Stenøien

Welcome to the human nature. Humans have radically shaped the surface of the Earth for tens of thousands of years. There is comparatively little wilderness left, and nature as we know it is to a large extent influenced and formed by humans. This has implications not only for our understanding of what is “natural”, but also regarding what kind of nature we would like to construct for the future.

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