November 15, 2010, 4 PM, Memorial Union, Granite State Room
Lecture Summary: Overfishing, pollution and climate change are laying the groundwork for a mass extinction in the oceans with dire implications for human wellbeing. Human activities are transforming once complex ecosystems like coral reefs and kelp forests into monotonous level bottoms, transforming clear and productive coastal seas into anoxic dead zones, and transforming complex food webs topped by big animals into simplified, microbially dominated ecosystems with boom and bust cycles of toxic dinoflagellate blooms, jellyfish, and disease. Rates of change are increasingly fast and non linear with sudden shifts to alternative community states that threaten fisheries, biodiversity, and human health. Humanity is the problem and must be the solution. Saving the oceans will require fundamental changes in the ways we live and obtain food and energy for everything we do.
Biographical Sketch: Jeremy Jackson is the Ritter Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California and Senior Scientist Emeritus at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in the Republic of Panama. Previously he was Professor of Ecology at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of more than 150 scientific publications and author or editor of seven books. His research includes human impacts on the oceans and the ecology and paleoecology of tropical and subtropical marine ecosystems. Dr. Jackson is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and recipient of numerous international prizes and awards. His work on overfishing was chosen by Discover magazine as the outstanding scientific achievement of 2001.