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Are Cities a Potential Solution for Biodiversity Decline?

Are cities a potential solution for biodiversity decline?

Professor Bruce Clarkson will examine whether cities are a potential solution for biodiversity decline when he delivers the 2017 Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture in Nelson on 28 September.

The lecture is a free annual community event for the people of Nelson.

“This year’s lecture, titled ‘Bringing indigenous nature back into New Zealand cities’, is timely as in Aotearoa/New Zealand – and the world – urban growth is putting significant pressure on our environment and natural resources,” says Cawthron Institute Trust Board chair, Bob Dickinson.

“This year marks 100 years since the first lecture was held and it is a pleasure to have Professor Clarkson address the public and share science with us. Ensuring the health of New Zealand's environment is one of Cawthron Institute's top priorities. We want future generations to be able to swim in, and fish and drink from our rivers, lakes and streams.”

In this year’s lecture, Bruce Clarkson will consider whether cities could be a solution to New Zealand’s biodiversity decline and will remind us just how precious our native plants and animals are, and how we all have a stake in protecting them.

Professor Clarkson has worked tirelessly in the areas of plant ecology and vegetation processes, conservation efforts in terrestrial, freshwater, and urban environments, and effective, on-the-ground restoration practices.

In 2016, he received the Charles Fleming Award for Environmental Achievement. The award honours those who have achieved distinction in protecting and improving our environment, especially the sustainable management of the New Zealand environment.

“I’ve been trying to understand and help restore our natural environment for more than half a century and I remain optimistic,” says Clarkson. “Cities provide us with opportunities to restore nature not found in other parts of the landscape and can influence and drive wider regional improvements. We have a chance to think hard about what we are doing to the environment and make some changes. My team and I are focused on researching the most effective ways to restore native habitat and ecosystems to support all the iwi, community and council projects being undertaken in urban environments”.

Event details:

Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture

7.30pm-10pm Thursday, 28 September

Annesbrook Church, 40 Saxton Rd West, Stoke, Nelson.


About the Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture

The Thomas Cawthron Memorial Lecture is a free community event held annually by the Cawthron Institute Trust Board for the people of Nelson since 1917 to commemorate the legacy of Thomas Cawthron and to share science with the public. Many distinguished scientists and scholars have featured as lecturers, including Professor Thomas Easterfield, Sir Ernest Rutherford, Sir Edmund Hillary, Professor Robert Winston and the Rt Hon Helen Clark.

About Cawthron Institute:

Cawthron Institute is New Zealand's largest independent science organisation, offering a broad spectrum of services to help protect the environment and support sustainable development of primary industries.

Based in the Nelson region, Cawthron works with regional councils, government departments, major industries, private companies, and other research organisations throughout New Zealand and around the world. Cawthron is a diverse organisation employing more than 200 scientists, laboratory technicians, researchers and specialist staff from more than 20 different countries.

Cawthron’s scientists have expertise in aquaculture research, marine and freshwater resource management, food safety and quality, algal technologies, biosecurity and analytical testing. At Cawthron, ground-breaking science is supported by substantial testing and research laboratories, state-of-the-art technology and a purpose-built aquaculture park.

Cawthron Institute also runs an extensive programme to help foster the next generation of scientists.

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