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.


Andy Purvis
Natural History Museum, UK

A sixth mass extinction? The global state - and possible futures - of biodiversity in the Anthropocene


Humanity is now a dominant influence on global biodiversity. I will give a global overview of the status and recent trends in nature, and of the main anthropogenic drivers of biodiversity change, drawing on the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Using results from the PREDICTS project, I will show how land use - the most important driver of terrestrial biodiversity change - has reshaped ecological assemblages worldwide, and how human impacts might be mitigated. I will present new results showing how land-use change and climate change are likely to affect terrestrial plant communities, on which most of the world’s species depend, and how choices society makes now will determine what sort of  planet we leave for future generations. We are not yet in a sixth mass extinction, and we can still avoid one - but a sustainable future requires transformative change.


Andy Purvis is a Research Leader and Individual Merit Researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, and was previously Professor of Biodiversity at Imperial College London. His research largely involves statistical modelling of specially-compiled large data sets to answer a wide range of questions in biodiversity science, from macroevolution to conservation. He heads the PREDICTS project (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems), which aims to model globally how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human pressures and to use these models to project potential biodiversity futures under alternative scenarios of socioeconomic development. He was a Coordinating Lead Author on chapter 2 of the first IPBES Global Assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services.