A future for nature: quantitative perspectives on land and biodiversity under global change

Our understanding of nature is incomplete, and nowhere is this more evident than when faced with the challenge of maintaining a viable natural world under the dual pressures of land use and climate change. Differing values and ad hoc solutions risk an incoherent and piecemeal response, with nebulous consequences. We need clearly defined measures of state, consequences and change framed within globally consistent world-views to effectively plan for the future.

Tom will present one possible approach using examples from the past decade of his work with colleagues at CSIRO in Australia, using community to metacommunity models of biodiversity in combination with new approaches to remotely sense land use and habitat condition. These allow us to consider impacts of land use and climate change in units of species loss at fine resolution over large extents. We can potentially use this information to support spatially explicit adaptation planning in combination with other approaches and values systems. There will be minimal equations but lots of diagrams and interesting (if sometimes a bit frightening) maps.


Tom Harwood is the new Associate Director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford and is a spatio-temporal ecological modeller with interests spanning scales from sub-individual to global and topics including epidemiology and lettuce. His modelling has contributed to the first application of UN-SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounts, the IPBES Global Assessment and three Component Indicators for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework