Population and the Environment: Analytical Demography and Applied Population Ethics/Co-evolution of population and environment - anthropogenic change & biodiversity
October 16, 2018
2:40 pm - 3:35 pm
Andy Rominger (SFI)
Human activities are often seen as detrimental to biodiversity. We will explore the science and sociology behind this narrative. We will both delve into the math behind extrapolations of species diversity and loss, and illuminate the shortcomings of the false dichotomy between humans and nature. Predicting biodiversity loss in ecology and conservation biology has historically been viewed through the lens of direct population destruction, habitat loss, and climate change. Habitat area has plays a key role in biodiversity theories as area mediates population size and is affected by all forms of habitat destruction including climate change. Thus we will focus heavily on theories of how biodiversity responds to changes in area. Predictions of biodiversity loss have failed to consider biases scientists bring to such predictions. We will therefore explore how presumptions about species interactions and human-nature relationships, largely dating to the Victorian era, have limited insight into biodiversity dynamics and conservation.