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17:00 - 19:00 17 May 2012

Rick Battarbee Lecture Series: Sediments, Systems and Sustainability


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre | UCL Wilkins Building (link Map)
Gower Street | London | WC1E 6BT |

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Prof John Dearing, Physical Geography, University of Southampton, John Dearing is Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Southampton, UK. His research addresses the complex links that exist between human activities, climate and the natural environment, particularly the changes taking place over multi-decadal timescales. He chairs the Past Global Changes (PAGES) programme “Past Human-Climate-Ecological Interactions” (PHAROS), a contributing programme to the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). PHAROS is designed to help coordinate research that uses past knowledge to inform the management of present and future human-environment systems. He is currently a member of the PAGES SSC, the UK IGBP National Committee, the Journal of Paleolimnology editorial panel, and a Visiting International Expert at the Key State Laboratory for Estuarine and Coastal Research, East China Normal University, Shanghai

The global environmental change community is currently re-organising itself around a new research structure called 'Research for global sustainability - Future Earth'. Dominating the structure is a number of key challenges that define the knowledge gaps and barriers to scientific progress. There is now an emphasis on interdisciplinary research that captures interactions between social and biophysical systems.

This talk reviews the ways that palaeorecords, particularly from lake sediments, have a major role to play in meeting these challenges. Drawing on several case-studies, the talk considers this role in terms of providing unique datasets and timescales; using palaeorecords as proxies for ecosystem services; modelling human-environment interactions; testing system dynamical theory about critical transitions; and establishing safe operating spaces. Palaeorecords of human-environment interactions have much to offer future earth.

This talk is followed by a drinks reception.


Dr Anson W. Mackay
020 7670 0558 | a.mackay@ucl.ac.uk


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