Arizona Science Lecture Series 2020 – 'Our Rapidly Changing Biosphere'
The University of Arizona College of Science presents the second lecture as part of its annual lecture series. The 2020 series is titled "Catalysts of Change."
About the series:
Our world continues to change, with some aspects of our lives changing more rapidly than others. This latest installment in the College of Science Lecture Series will explore the catalysts – both positive and negative – influencing the pace of change in four areas of science. Advances in our understanding of climate, space, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering will have profound implications for how we will live in the next 20 years and beyond.
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
College of Science, University of Arizona
About the lecture:
Enquist will explore the question: What does the future hold for the biodiversity of our planet, and why should we care? Ecosystems connect the biosphere's living and physical components through the flow of energy and the cycling of nutrients – and ecosystems sustain society. However, the biosphere is now rapidly changing. In this talk, we will travel from lowland tropical rainforests to alpine wetlands to highlight the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems. From the diversity and complexity of microscopic life in soils to the diversity of ecosystems along climate gradients, we will show why biodiversity is changing across scales and why this matters. Throughout, we emphasize the factors that promote and maintain biodiversity as well as why change in the biosphere is accelerating. Many questions remain: What is the future of the biosphere and biodiversity on an increasingly human dominated planet? And how much time do we have left to promote a sustainable Earth?