Keynote Speakers

Find out about the international keynote speakers at this joint symposium.

Cheetah in a Thunderstorm, Uwe Skrzypczak

At the core of this joint symposium is a set of international keynote speakers, renowned across the fields of ecology and climate science.

We will be announcing the keynote speakers over the course of the week commencing 14 July 2021. Check back here for updates!

Michael Dietze
Boston University/Ecological Forecasting Initiative

Michael Dietze is a professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Boston University. He is author of the book “Ecological Forecasting” and is founder and chair of the Ecological Forecasting Initiative, an international grassroots research consortium aimed at fostering a community of practice around near-term ecological forecasting.  

Michael leads development of the PEcAn terrestrial model-data informatics system, which his lab uses to produce a daily carbon and water flux forecasts and continental-scale reanalyses. His lab also run near-term iterative forecasts for ticks and their small mammal hosts, soil microbiome, forest pests, and vegetation phenology. More broadly, his team uses a combination of field research, remote sensing, novel statistical methods, numerical models, and ecoinformatics tools to gain a quantitative understanding of ecological dynamics across scales from the individual to the globe. 

Greta Bocedi
University of Aberdeen 

Greta Bocedi is a Royal Society University Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. 

Greta’s research aims to understand the evolution of species’ life histories and behaviours, and species’ responses to environmental changes, by combining ecological and evolutionary modelling to generate new eco-evolutionary theory and theory-grounded applications. As part of her PhD, she developed an ecological software, RangeShifter, that takes an individual-based modelling approach to simulate demography and dispersal of populations existing on complex landscapes. Greta continues to collaborate with people working on a range of ecological systems to use the software to predict how species will respond to environmental change and to potential management interventions.  

Since her PhD, Great has increasingly turned her attention to the major challenge of understanding the roles played by life-histories and behavioural processes, especially mating systems, and population genetics in spatial ecology, requiring considerable theoretical development. She hopes to embed this new understanding and new methodological approaches within the RangeShifter modelling framework. Greta’s ambition is to have a simulation approach that can forecast eco-evolutionary responses to environmental changes that is underpinned by a robust representation of genetic and behavioural processes.  

Mark C. Urban 
University of Connecticut/Center of Biological Risk

Mark C. Urban is an award-winning scientist, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, founder and director of the Center of Biological Risk (the first center devoted to forecasting the complex risks to society mediated by ecosystems), and global expert on climate change impacts on nature and evolutionary ecology. 

An avid field biologist, Mark takes every opportunity to get out in the field to learn about the diversity of life and threats to it. He routinely spends time in ponds, lakes, and streams in regions ranging from New England to the North Slope of Alaska. By integrating ecology, evolution, and genomics, his work has uncovered new principles that routinely challenge existing ideas, including challenging the spatial scale of adaptation, the importance of adaptation in ecology, and highlighting the joint ecological and evolutionary responses to global change. Most recently, his work has focused on designing global efforts to estimate and mitigate extinction risks from climate change on biodiversity.  

Mark’s work on climate change impacts on species extinctions was highlighted as one of the top scientific discoveries of 2015 by Discover Magazine and in The Royal Society’s update to the 5th IPCC report. He has consulted on stories about climate change appearing in National Geographic, Sir David Attenborough’s documentary Climate Change – The Facts, and the television series, Years of Living Dangerously. He was awarded both the Young Investigator and Presidential awards from the American Society of Naturalists and has twice been named a Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher.  

Rebecca Harris
University of Tasmania & Climate Futures Programme 

Rebecca Harris is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography (Climatology) in the School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences at the University of Tasmania, and Director of the Climate Futures Programme 

Rebecca’s principle research interests are in the areas of conservation management and climate change impacts on natural and human systems. She integrates climate science with ecological research to contribute to landscape management decisions that are necessary to adapt to climate change impacts. Her recent research has focused on the impact of climate variability and extreme events on natural ecosystems and the adaptability of species and humans to change. Rebecca is a lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group II, contributing to Chapter 2, Terrestrial and Freshwater Ecosystems and their Services, and the Cross-Chapter Paper on Deserts, semi-arid areas and desertification. She is a Co-ordinating Lead Author (CLA) for the Urban Climate Science Element in the Third Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3.3), Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN). 

Niklaus Zimmermann
ETH Zürich 

Niklaus Zimmermann is an Adjunct Professor at ETH Zürich specialising in Vegetation Ecology.  

In his research, Niklaus uses empirical, hybrid and mechanistic models to study the drivers behind biodiversity and vegetation change, with much of his research devoted to better understanding the consequences of climate change on plants and animals. This interest has led to scientific collaborations with climate scientists, to the development of joint projects on reciprocal feedbacks between biodiversity and climate, and to projects aimed at downscaling climate data to spatial, temporal and thematic resolutions suitable for ecological impact assessments. 

Emma Visman 
UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology 

Emma Visman works at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, King’s College London and as an independent consultant.  

Combining practical policy development with operational humanitarian and development experience, Emma focuses on strengthening knowledge exchange between climate information producers and decision-makers across levels, regions, sectors, disciplines and timeframes. She has worked with Save the Children in Iraq, Somalia, Angola, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has coordinated a conflict prevention programme in the Horn of Africa for the policy research group, Saferworld. Emma worked on the Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London, where she was awarded a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship to support strengthened dialogue between the providers and users of science for strengthening resilience amongst at risk groups. Subsequently, Emma was a Visiting Senior Research Associate with KCL’s Department of Geography and an Associate of the Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience, which supports the development of the knowledge exchange online resource. As an independent consultant she continues engagement with KCL in three multi-partner DFID-funded projects. Two are projects within the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, one in Ethiopia and the other in Burkina Faso, while the third is a Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) project on “Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience in Emergency Contexts’, a collaboration with 8 NGO agencies of the START Network. 

Ed Hawkins 
University of Reading 

Ed Hawkins is a climate scientist in the National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading and a Lead Author for the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report. 

Ed’s research examines how and why the climate has changed since the industrial revolution, and how it may change over the coming decades, particularly the interplay between natural climate variations and human-induced trends. He also leads Weather Rescue – a citizen science project involving thousands of volunteers – which is recovering millions of lost Victorian-era weather observations from hand-written archives and turning them into invaluable digital data. Ed also actively engages with a variety of audiences about climate change, especially through blogs, social media and graphical visualisations.