UCL Division of Biosciences


CBER External Seminar - Professor Bob Smith, University of Kent

23 May 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm


Title: 'Designing Conservation Area Networks: Using Local-Scale Insights to Improve Global Research'

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Amy Godfrey


G01 Lankester LT
Medawar Building

Abstract: With proposals to expand the global conservation area network to cover 30% of the marine and terrestrial realm by 2030, there is a pressing need for research to identify the best new sites for conservation action. However, a recent article by Wyborn and Evans (2021) questioned the value of global-scale priority conservation area maps, arguing that local-scale studies are much more important for guiding action on the ground. Here I build on this argument, showing how these local-scale studies are also important for informing global research, using insights gained from a long-term, transnational project in southern Africa. I discuss how the conservation literature misunderstands the role of the biodiversity hotspot map developed by Myers et al (2000) in informing action, show how the mismatch between local and global datasets impacts conservation decision making and propose a new sample-based approach for collecting conservation area data at a global scale.

About the Speaker

Professor Bob Smith

Director of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at University of Kent

Professor Bob Smith is the Director of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent. His research focuses on designing protected area systems and other ecological networks, with long-running projects in the UK and southern Africa and work to inform global policy and practice on conservation areas.

More about Professor Bob Smith