Biodiversity, Climate and Evolution


McGill University hosts interactive public discussion

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's Origins of Species.  In honor of his legacy, a public forum at McGill University will examine how biodiversity is threatened by forces that Darwin could not have foreseen.  Among these are biological invasions and climate change, two human-driven forms of global change.  How can species be conserved in the face of such threats? McGill, the British High Commission and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity will address this provocative issue in an interactive public discussion: Biodiversity, Climate and Evolution on June 4th at 5:30 pm.

WHO: Peter Bridgewater, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (UK)
Kalemani Jo Mulongoy, Convention on Biological Diversity (UNEP)
Anthony Ricciardi, McGill Associate Professor, Redpath Museum and the McGill School of Environment

WHAT: Public forum on Biodiversity, Climate and Evolution
Presentations, 5:35 pm - 6:45 pm
Panel Discussion, 6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

WHERE: Chancellor Day Hall, room 100, 3440 Peel St. West, McGill University


Invasive Species as a Threat to Biodiversity: Implications for Conservation in an Era of Climate Change, 5:35pm - 5:55pm, Anthony Ricciardi

This talk examines the global threat of species invasions to native biodiversity and how this threat is likely to be exacerbated by climate change.  It focuses on the issue of assisted colonization – the deliberate translocation of species into new areas as a potential conservation strategy for rescuing species threatened in their native region. The latter has become a controversial topic among conservation biologists.

Darwin and the 2010 Target, 5:55 pm - 6:15 pm, Peter Bridgewater

The talk addresses the current state of biodiversity loss and the need to improve our ability to recognize different species and thus better evaluate changes in biodiversity.  What management strategies can be used to conserve biodiversity against the threat of climate change?

Global challenges and good practices to continue to address the threat from invasive alien species, 6:25 pm - 6:45 pm, Kalemani Jo Mulongoy

This talk presents the management of invasive species in a global context.  It describes the Darwin Initiative, which assists developing countries to recognize and protect their  biodiversity resources and has successfully launched projects in Africa and southeast Asia to manage invasive species.

About the presenters:

Dr. Peter Bridgewater is Chairman of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee that advises the UK government on Conservation and Biodiversity issues. He has previously held numerous senior advisory roles including Chief Executive of the Australian Nature Conservation Agency and Director of Ecological Sciences at UNESCO.

Dr. Kalemani Jo Mulongoy is the Principal Officer in charge of the Scientific, Technical and Technological Matters Division at the CBD. Previously, he has held senior roles at the International Academy of the Environment and as Head of the Plant Biotechnology Unit at the Institut International pour le Développement en Afrique in Ivory Coast.

Dr. Anthony Ricciardi is an Associate Professor in the Redpath Museum and McGill School of Environment. His research examines the impacts of invasive alien species, and he has recently published a controversial article on the risks of assisted colonization as a conservation strategy. He will present striking examples of biodiversity loss caused by invasive species, and the roles that climate change and evolution may play in exacerbating these impacts.

The presentations will be in English.

Contact Information

Cynthia Lee
Media Relations Office
cynthia.lee [at]
Office Phone: 
(514) 398 - 6754