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33rd T B Macaulay Lecture - Living on a Shrinking Planet: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustaining Global Land Use

Friday, June 5, 2009 - 15:00
Lecture Abstract: 

Land use has generally been considered a local issue, but is becoming a force of global importance. Worldwide changes to land resources are driven by needs for food, fibre, water and shelter for six billion people. Global croplands, pastures, plantations and urban areas have expanded in recent decades, accompanied by increased energy, water and fertiliser consumption, and by biodiversity loss. These changes have increased human consumption of the planet’s resources, but undermine the capacity of ecosystems to sustain food production, maintain freshwater, regulate climate, and restrict infectious diseases. We face the challenge of managing trade-offs between immediate human needs and the long-term capacity of the biosphere to provide necessary goods and services.

Speaker Details

Professor Jonathan Foley

Professor Jonathan Foley is the Director of the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of the Minnesota, where he also a Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior.

Professor Foley's work focuses on complex global environmental systems and their interactions with human societies. He and his students have contributed to our understanding of large-scale ecosystem processes, global patterns of land use, the behavior of the planet's climate and water cycle, and the sustainability of our biosphere.

Professor Foley joined the University of Minnesota in 2008, after spending 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he founded the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). He has won numerous awards and honors, including the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award, the J.S. McDonnell Foundation's 21st Century Science Award, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship, and the Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. In 1997, President Bill Clinton awarded him the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Location

The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute
Craigiebuckler
AB15 8QH Aberdeen
United Kingdom
GB

About the Lecture

Dr Thomas Bassett MacaulayThe annual T.B. Macaulay Lecture is held to honour the vision of Dr Thomas Bassett Macaulay, President and Chairman of the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, whose benefaction founded the original Macaulay Institute for Soil Research in 1930. He was a descendant of the Macaulays from the Island of Lewis and his aim was to improve the productivity of Scottish agriculture. This vision continues today in its successor the James Hutton Institute, a world leader in land, crop, water, environmental and socio-economic science.