Location & dates Virtual 4 - 5 Nov 2020
Deadlines Registration closed

EMBL Courses and Conferences during the Coronavirus pandemic

With the onsite programme paused, many of our events are now being offered in virtual formats.

Registration is open as usual for many events, with back-up plans in place to move further courses and conferences online as necessary. Registration fees for any events affected by the COVID-19 disruption are fully refundable.

More information for participants of events at EMBL Heidelberg can be found here.

Yadvinder Malhi
University of Oxford, UK

The environmental impacts of animal biodiversity loss and restoration


The ongoing loss of biodiversity, and how to reverse it, is one of the major challenges of our time. Such loss of biodiversity has consequences for the health of ecosystems and their resilience to climate change. Much attention has to been paid to how the loss of some taxa, such as plants and insects, have on ecosystem and planetary function. However, the most severe losses in biodiversity throughout history have been in vertebrate animals. Such animals tend to be valued more for their charisma than for their ecosystem functions.  Here I explore how vertebrates, with a particular focus on large animals, have declined over time, and what consequences this has for ecosystem and planetary function. I outline the various ways that large animals can contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and explore the potential for animal reintroduction and “rewilding” to create a more resilience and vibrant biosphere.


Yadvinder Malhi is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford, Director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. His research investigates how ecosystems worldwide, and in particular tropical ecosystems, are responding to the pressures of global change under the Anthropocene, and how ecosystem restoration can contribute to adaptation to climate change. He takes an ecosystem ecology perspective, trying to understand how the interactions between components of an ecosystem shape their properties and response to change. He is former President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and a Trustee of the Natural History Museum of London, and in 2018 was awards the Patron’s Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society.