The Challenge of Monitoring Biodiversity

Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:12:04 +0000

a guest blog by Charlie Outhwaite, written for the 2015 Write About Research Competition. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is a complex term encompassing the variety of life found on Earth. It incorporates not only differences between species but within species themselves and of the environments and ecosystems where they are found. We as humans benefit […]

The post The Challenge of Monitoring Biodiversity appeared first on GEE Research.




Jones - Serpent's Promise

Steve Jones, Professor of Genetics, in his most recent book, the Serpent's Promise, the Bible Retold as Science, has tried to update some of the biblical stories through the eyes of modern science.

He is the author of books on genetics for specialist and lay audiences.  His books include:

Jones - Darwin's Island

'Darwin's Island: the Galapagos in the Garden of England' which completed the ambitious and perhaps misled scheme to update the whole of Darwin's scientific writings for the bicentennial of the great man's birth in 2009; 'Coral: a Pessimist in Paradise', which traces the decline and fall of the reefs and the unexpected science that emerges from the simple animals that make them; 'The Single Helix', 'Y: The Descent of Men';  'Almost Like a Whale', 'In the Blood' and 'The Language of Genes'.

Jones - Coral Jones - Descent Jones - in the blood Jones - language of the genes

Steve Jones teaches on our first year undergraduate course 'Genes to Organisms', about genetics and evolution and in our second year 'Introduction to Human Genetics' course.


Lane - Life Ascending

Nick Lane is a biochemist and writer. He holds the first Provost's Venture Research Fellowship in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London, and is a founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research. His research is on the role of bioenergetics in the origin and evolution of complex life. 

He is the author of four popular science books and numerous scientific publications.  His most recent book 'Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution' (Profile/Norton 2009) is a celebration of the inventiveness of life, and of our own ability to read the deep past to reconstruct the history of life on earth. The great inventions are: the origin of life, DNA, photosynthesis, the complex cell, sex, movement, sight, hot blood, consciousness and death.

Lane - Power Sex Suicide Lane - Oxygen Lane - Life Frozen State


Chatterjee - Heritage in Health
Chatterjee - Touch in Museums

Helen Chatterjee is Senior Lecturer in Biology at UCL and Head of Research and Teaching in UCL’s Department of Public and Cultural Engagement. As well as research interests in primate evolution, conservation and biogeography, Helen’s research includes work on touch and value of object handling in health and wellbeing, and its pedagogical value in education. She edited 'Touch in Museums: Policy and Practice in Object Handling' by Berg Publications in 2008 and wrote ‘Museums, Health and Well-being’ by Ashgate Press in 2013. She is currently Principal Investigator on the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded grant ‘Museums on Prescription’ which is exploring the role of museums and galleries in social prescribing.



Richard Pearson is a lecturer within the department’s Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research. He is the author of the popular science book Driven to Extinction (Sterling New York, and NHM London, 2011), which describes how climate change poses a threat to biodiversity and what could be done to combat the threat. He is also co-author of the monograph Ecological Niches and Geographic Distributions (Monographs in Population Biology, Princeton University Press, 2011), which provides an overview of the theory and practice of ecological niche modelling.

Pearson - driven to extinction Pearson - nice & distribution


CollenBiodiversity Monitoring & Conservation

Ben Collen is a lecturer within the department’s Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research.  His research explores the dynamics by which biodiversity is changing, and how best to understand and counteract those changes.  He is lead author of the book Biodiversity Monitoring & Conservation, part of the Conservation Science and Practice series from Wiley-Blackwell.


Evolutionary Genetics

Andrew Pomiankowski, Professor of Genetics and Director of CoMPLEX, succeeded Prof Steve Jones as Head of Department, GEE, in June 2010.

His research addresses evolutionary questions primarily in the area of sexual selection. One of the key questions he has been working on is the evolution of female mate preferences for exaggerated male sexual traits used in courtship display. In addition, his recent theoretical work has investigated sex determination and the evolution of gene networks, genomic imprinting of sex chromosomes, and the consequences of intra-genomic conflicts.

He co-authored with Mark Pagel, the popular text 'Evolutionary Genomics and Proteomics' which is the first major review of developments in the rapidly growing areas of genomics and proteomics, with particular emphasis on placing these fields in an evolutionary context. With a growing understanding of genes, their diversity and regulation, and how their products work together in networks of interacting elements, a new era of biology is emerging.


Goswami - Carnivoran Evolution

Anjali Goswami is currently a joint Reader in palaeobiology in the Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment and the Department of Earth Sciences. She is also affiliated with the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and currently serves as the Environmental Biology stream representative for the Natural Sciences program.  Outside of UCL, she serves as  co-chair of the Scientific Program Committee and is a member of the media response team for the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology.   Her main research interests are in mammalian evolution and development, especially using morphometric methods to incorporate data from embryos to fossils to test genetic and developmental hypotheses of modularity and morphological diversity. 'Carnivoran Evolution: New Views on Phylogeny, Form, and Function' (A. Goswami and A. Friscia, eds.), was published by Cambridge University Press as the first volume in their new series 'Cambridge Studies in Morphology and Molecules: New Paradigms in Evolutionary Biology'.

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