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Speaker: Professor Ken Norris, Director, Centre for Agri-environmental Research, University of Reading
Conversion to agriculture is a major cause of the loss and degradation of tropical forests. Modification of forest ecosystems in this way is a large-scale ecosystem perturbation. It provides an opportunity to test ecological theories, which could provide insights into how biodiversity is responding to environmental change. The talk will focus on forest systems on the island of Mauritius and in Ghana, and look at how a range of processes involving moulds, ants and birds are changing. The work touches on questions relating to delayed life history effects in populations, and biodiversity-ecosystem function relationships. It also has implications for biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods.
Ken Norris is a Research Professor in Reading University and Director of the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research (CAER). His work focuses on how biodiversity and ecosystem services respond to environmental change, and the potential implications this might have for people. He has a particular interest in tropical island and African forest systems. He currently leads an Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA) project in Ghana and Ethiopia on forest-agriculture ecosystems that also involves the ECI at Oxford.