Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research


UCL – French Embassy ‘State of Nature’ Conférence-Débat Series 2014 - Beyond Biodiversity Indicators

Date & Time: 9th October 2014 6 – 7:30pm

Venue: J.Z. Young Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Building, University College London,followed by a wine reception 


Please register by 6th October to attend.

  • Registration closed




Dr Ana Rodrigues, Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Montpellier, France 


Dr Robin Freeman, Indicators and Assessments Unit, Zoological Society of London


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has assigned a number of key targets for the conservation and protection of global biodiversity. For many of these targets, scientifically robust indicators are required to determine our effective progress towards them. However, existing indicators face a number of critical issues. Not least, current indicators often rely on recent information on the status and abundance of species. While this can identify recent trends in biodiversity change, these sit within a context of potentially much greater historical trends that are much more complex to identify. Gathering, assessing and understanding baseline information from historical or archeological data will be critical to understand the context of current biodiversity change and potentially predict future change.  Indeed, it is is now critical to attempt to understand how biodiversity trends may alter into the future. Predicting future biodiversity trends may allow us to identify those species and ecosystems in critical need of conservation effort. Furthermore, some key aspects of the importance of global biodiversity still suffer a crucial lack of information. The cultural value of species and ecosystems, as an example, is still poorly understood and complex to quantify. This talk will present a number of our recent efforts to address problems in these areas - developing new understanding of historical species abundances and extinctions, predicting future change and new methods to understanding the cultural value of species and ecosystems.

Speaker Bios

Dr Ana Rodrigues

Ana Rodrigues did her undergraduate and Master studies in Lisbon (Portugal), before obtaining a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Sheffield (UK). After a postdoc with Conservation International in Washington DC (USA) and a Marie Curie fellowship at the University of Cambridge (UK), she became a researcher of the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), based at the Centre for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology (CEFE) in Montpellier (France). The study of spatial biodiversity patterns at large scales is the unifying theme of her research. This includes work on the implications of such patterns to biodiversity conservation as well as research on the processes that generate those patterns across spatial and temporal scales. Current research interests include highlighting large-scale priorities for biodiversity conservation (both for expanding and for reinforcing the global network of protected areas), quantifying the global footprint of historical human activities on current biodiversity patters, and investigating how large-scale spatial patterns are affected by animal movement (migration, dispersal). She has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers or book chapters. A member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, she was awarded the 2009 Marsh Award for Conservation Biology and the 2013 CNRS Bronze Medal for young researchers.


Dr Robin Freeman

Dr Robin Freeman is the head of the Indicators and Assessments Unit at the Zoological Society of London. The indicators and assessments unit is a joint initiative between the Institute of Zoology and Conservation Programmes providing vital science to inform global conservation policy. The unit collates and analyses a suite of large biodiversity datasets including the Living Planet Index, the Sampled Red List and National Red Lists. Using these data, the unit conducts scientifically robust assessments of global and national biodiversity, producing key indicators used by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to measure progress towards the 2020 Aichi Targets. Prior to joining ZSL, Dr. Freeman conducted postdoctoral work at the University of Oxford, Microsoft Research Cambridge,  and University College London. Dr. Freeman's interdisciplinary interests include biodiversity assessments, conservation technology, spatial ecology and animal behaviour. He strives to develop and adapt new innovative methods to better analyse and understand the changing status and behaviour of species globally.



beyond biodiversity poster

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