Experts: International Day for Biological Diversity | May 22 | Writing

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As the global community is called upon to reexamine our relationship to the natural world, one thing is certain: Despite all of our technological advances, humans are totally dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for water, food, medicine, clothing. , fuel, shelter, and energy, to name a few. The 2021 theme, “We are part of the solution”, was chosen to follow on from the momentum generated last year under the general theme “Our solutions are in nature”, which recalled that the biodiversity remains the answer to several challenges of sustainable development. (The United Nations)

Here are some experts from McGill University who can comment on this question:

Brian leung, Associate Professor, Department of Biology

Biodiversity models are more nuanced than those generally presented. Based on the available time series data, some regions appear to be at very high risk, such as the Indo-Pacific, while other regions are in fact showing general improvement, such as Europe. However, there is a lot of uncertainty as the data simply does not exist for most species.. “

Brian Leung is Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Director of the McGill-STRI Neotropical Environment Option. He holds the UNESCO Chair for Sustainability Dialogues and his expertise includes biological invasions, disease ecology and anthropogenic stressors.

brian.leung2 [at] mcgill.ca (English)

Laura Pollock, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology

There has never been a time when concern for the protection of biological diversity is so important. We have ambitious international commitments such as the 30 by 30 initiative (protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030) and proposals to plant billions of trees. We are also armed with more knowledge than ever before, not only about threats, but also areas on which to focus to effectively protect biodiversity. Now is the time to put this knowledge into practice. “

Laura Pollock is Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology. His research aims to understand how and why biodiversity is distributed across the landscape using predictive modeling that draws on a range of subdomains (macroecology, community ecology, biogeography and phylogeography) and data sources (traits, phylogeny , experts).

laura.pollock [at] mcgill.ca (English)

Anthony Ricciardi, Full Professor, Bieler School of Environment and Redpath Museum

One of the greatest threats to native biodiversity is biological invasion – the spread of plants, animals and microbes beyond their natural ranges. Under human influence, species are spreading faster, further, and in greater numbers than at any time in Earth’s history – and thus constitute a unique form of global change. In particular, freshwater ecosystems are transformed by the combined stressors of climate change and invasion. “

Anthony Ricciardi is a full professor at the Bieler School of Environment and the Redpath Museum and an associate member of the Department of Biology. His research examines the causes and consequences of biological invasions, focusing on aquatic ecosystems.

tony.ricciardi [at] mcgill.ca (English)



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