Robert Beschta

Oregon State University, USA

Robert Beschta's research has focused on understanding the interactions between riparian vegetation, hydrologic processes, and stream systems. More recently I have been involved in trying to assess apex predator effects, via trophic cascades, on plant communities and rivers. This effort has involved retrospective assessments of ecosystem trends following the displacement/extirpation of an apex predator, as well as ecosystem changes underway in Yellowstone National Park where wolves were reintroduced nearly two decades ago.

Please read the abstract of the keynote talk here ...

Ken Norris

Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, University of Reading, UK

Ken Norris uses a range of individual, population, community and ecosystem approaches to understand how biodiversity and ecosystem services respond to environmental change. This work takes place in a wide variety of ecosystems - UK urban ecosystems, UK agro-ecosystems, tropical forest ecosystems in Africa, tropical islands systems, and tropical marine ecosystems. His work is increasingly focused on linking biodiversity science with studies on human well-being, health and rural development. All of these studies are used to help improve the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems.

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Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard

Acting Executive Director, DIVERSITAS, Paris, FR.

Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard holds a Master's Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Lyon, France, and a Master in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Montpellier, France. She earned her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Montpellier, France, on the relationships between native plant community diversity and its resistance to invasion by exotic species. Following her PhD, she did post-doctoral research, at CABI Bioscience in Ascot, United Kingdom, on the role of native plants and herbivores diversity on invasion by exotic plant species. She then worked at the University of Paris Sud XI-Orsay, France, on the relationships between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning. Anne-Hélène Prieur-Richard has also teaching experience at the Universities of Paris and Montpellier.

In 2001, she joined DIVERSITAS, the international programme of biodiversity science, to assist the Executive Director with starting and launching the second phase of this programme. Her job, as Science Officer, consisted in developing and coordinating the scientific activities, in which DIVERSITAS is involved. In January 2006, she was promoted as Deputy Director of DIVERSITAS. In addition to science-policy activities (e.g. collaboration with the Convention on Biological Diversity, Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), financial responsibilities, and staff management responsibilities, her scientific portfolio included issues related to freshwater biodiversity, biodiversity and health, evolutionary aspects of biodiversity science. In 2013, she was appointed Acting Executive Director overseeing the transition of DIVERSITAS towards the new integrative sustainability programme, Future Earth.

Please read the abstract of the keynote talk here ...

Jonah Ratsimbazafy

GERP (Groupe d'étude et de recherche sur les primates de Madagascar ), Madagascar

Jonah Ratsimbazafy is a native of Madagascar. He received his PhD in Physical Anthropology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently the Secretary General of the Madagascar Primate Group (GERP). He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Sciences and the Department of Medicine veterinary at the University of Antananarivo. His research interests include primate behavior and ecology. He co-authored the 2nd and 3rd edition of the Field Guide Series: Lemurs of Madagascar. From 2006 to 2008, he was the Vice-President of the International Primatological Society for Conservation. He is a Vice co-chair of the IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group for Madagascar.

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Roland Scholz

ETH Zurich, Chair of Environmental sciences, Natural and Social Science Interface (emeritus), Switzerland

Roland W. Scholz hold the Chair of Environmental Sciences: Natural and Social Science Interface at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) from 1993-2012. He is adjunct professor of Psychology at the University of Zurich (Privatdozent), Professor Extraordinaire at the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch, SA and project leader at Fraunhofer IWKS (Germany). Scholz was elected as the fifth holder of the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professorship 2001/2002 at Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden). Scholz graduated in Mathematics and Psychology (Dr. phil. habil. Dipl. Math). He switched from basic research to environmental system sciences in the nineteen-eighties. He was doing family gardening on a former sewage field with cadmium and benzpyen and started studying the two-way interaction between human activities and environmental systems. He specialized in decision sciences and systems analysis, cognitive and organizational psychology, environmental modeling and evaluation (including land use in LCA) and risk assessment. Scholz ran large scale transdisciplinary case studies since 1993 and contributed to the theory and practice of transdisciplinarity. His current research field is theory, methodology and practice of coupled human-environment systems research.

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Jens-Christian Svenning

Aarhus University, Denmark

Jens-Christian Svenning is an ecologist and biogeographer. His research - which often employs geospatial ecoinformatics approaches - has a strong focus on understanding geographic patterns in species distributions, diversity, and ecosystem functioning and how they are shaped by the interplay between contemporary processes and long-term historical dynamics. He also has a strong interest in how insights from this research can be applied to nature conservation and global change biology, to improve the scope for human-biodiversity coexistence in the Anthropocene.

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Frans Vera

Foundation Natural Processes, The Netherlands

Frans Vera is an ecologist whose field of work and passion is nature conservation. The reestablishment of natural processes as the foundation for nature conservation is the continuous thread that runs through his career. It started with grazing, non-breeding moulting Greylag geese (Anser anser) in the nature reserve the Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands. With the natural process of grazing they drove the succession of the vegetation and by that facilitated the establishment of many other marsh inhabitation bird and plant species. This brought him on track of the role of the large indigenous herbivores in Europe as landscape driving forces. Besides the Oostvaardersplassen he was involved in the development of the restoring natural processes of flooding - and connected with this processes such as erosion and sedimentation - and grazing by wild living large ungulates in the floodplains of the large rivers in the Netherlands. He is working at the Foundation Natural Processes and guest master at the University of Groningen, both in the Netherlands.

Please read the abstract of the keynote talk here ...