CIE Seminar Series 2017 – Assessing risks to ecosystems

SPEAKER: Dr Lucie Bland, Research Fellow in Ecosystem Risk Assessment, Centre for Integrative Ecology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University

DATE: Friday, 24th March 2017
LOCATION: Warrnambool Campus, Room B3.03
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood – Burwood Corporate Centre (attendees-please report to reception on the day); and Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds – room ka4.207

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ABSTRACT: Global assessments of risks to biodiversity are central to measuring progress towards international targets and prioritizing conservation actions. I will present some of my work on the science behind the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, the new global standard for assessing risks to marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems.

Key to the implementation of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is the concept of ecosystem collapse, i.e. the endpoint of ecosystem decline. With a systematic literature review on marine pelagic and temperate forest ecosystems, I identify key shortfalls in current definitions and conceptualizations of ecosystem collapse, and provide clear recommendations for risk assessment.

My first case study focuses on the Meso-American coral reef ecosystem, and I demonstrate how multiple sources of evidence (such as remotely-sensed data, field data, and ecosystem models) can be used jointly to provide reliable and informative risk assessments.

My second case study uses ecosystem models to reconstruct historical ecosystem changes in the southern Benguela of South Africa. My work at Deakin University will focus on assessing risks to ecosystems services with mechanistic ecosystem models.

BIO: Lucie Bland holds a BA (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford and a PhD from Imperial College London. Lucie completed her first postdoc at the University of Melbourne and is now a Research Fellow at the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University.

Her work focuses on assessing risks to biodiversity with the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and IUCN Red List of Ecosystems protocols. She is interested in ecosystem modelling, macroecology, and global conservation policy.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Graeme Hays.