Restoring Siberia’s Mammoth Steppes to stabilise a ‘carbon bomb’

Thawing of Arctic permafrost could release billons of tons of greenhouse gases, substantially counteracting our efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change. In Siberia, a father-and-son pair of scientists, Sergey and Nikita Zimov, have devised an audacious solution – to restore the cold grasslands that covered the region before humans wiped out the megafauna (large animals) that maintained them 12,000 years ago. Fifteen years ago they founded the Pleistocene Park in the far north east of Russia, where they are establishing herds of horses, bison, and cattle in an effort to shift permafrost warming boreal forest back to cooling grassland.

This event offers a rare opportunity to meet Nikita Zimov and hear him talk about the science and practices of Arctic rewilding. His lecture will be preceded with an opportunity to view and discuss specimens of the UK’s Pleistocene megafauna and followed by a panel discussion with leading Oxford academics.

17.15 Exhibition of Pleistocene megafauna bone collection
18.00 Lecture: by ‘The science and vision of the Pleistocene Park’ Nikita Zimov, Northeast Science Station, Russia.

Introduced by Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Professor of Ecosystem Science,

Panel Discussion with:

Dr Marc Macia Fauria, Associate Professor in Physical Geography
Dr Paul Jepson, Course Director. MSc/MPhil Biodiversity, Conservation & Management.
Professor Kathy Willis, Principal of St Edmund Hall