The ecology and conservation of atolls
Abstract: Over one third of Indo-Pacific islands are atolls. Nevertheless, atolls remain largely unrecognised as a distinct ecosystem type, beyond being recognised for their smallness and perceived depauperate floras and faunas. However, atolls are systems with a remarkable and unique biogeography and ecology that transcend classic boundary thinking of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial realms. Recognising atolls as dynamic and integrated systems of geologic, marine, and terrestrial processes may hold the key for unlocking conservation opportunities and place-based solutions to build resilience to climate change and preserve their unique cultural and ecological values beyond the Anthropocene.

Biography: Sebastian is an early-career postdoctoral researcher at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He has been researching atoll systems since his graduate studies, working and living on atolls across the Indo-Pacific. His research takes a system’s thinking approach to atolls, aimed at identifying the unique properties and processes of their biogeography and ecology that can contribute to establishing a rethinking of atolls in conservation and ecological restoration.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed within this lecture are those of the author alone, they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery/Biodiversity Network, or its researchers.
Date: 28 June 2024, 16:15 (Friday, 10th week, Trinity 2024)
Venue: Dyson Perrins Building, off South Parks Road OX1 3QY
Venue Details: main lecture theatre
Speaker: Sebastian Steibl
Organising department: Environmental Change Institute
Organisers: Carlyn Samuel (University of Oxford), Jane Applegarth (University of Oxford, Oxford University Centre for the Environment)
Host: Professor Yadvinder Malhi (University of Oxford)
Part of: Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery and the Biodiversity Network seminar series
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Audience: Public
Editor: Carlyn Samuel