Keynote Speakers and Guests

Those attending the NRG BESS Conference 2014 will have the opportunity to hear from not only their colleagues, but also our three keynote speakers. Prof Georgina Mace (University College London) will open up the conference on Monday morning with her talk. On Tuesday, the day will begin with a presentation from Dr Sandra Nogué (University of Oxford) and our conference will close with our final keynote speech from Prof Katrina Brown (University of Exeter). We have also invited some academics from BESS and the University of Southampton – all experts in the fields of biodiversity, ecosystem services and sustainability – to attend. You can find more details on each of our speakers and guests below.

Prof Georgina Mace

Keynote speech title: Approaches to policy-relevant biodiversity and                 ecosystem service assessment

GeorginaMace_ProfilePicProf Mace is Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystems and Director of the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER) at University College London (UCL). Her research focuses on the measurement of the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and ecosystem change. She is also currently a NERC Council member, member of the Council of the Royal Society, and Chair of the science committee for the DIVERSITAS global change research programme.

To date, Prof Mace has led the development of criteria for listing species on IUCN’s Red List of threatened species, and was a coordinating lead author for biodiversity in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. More recently, she has worked on the UK National Ecosystem Assessment, was a co-investigator on the NERC Valuing Nature Network, and Associate Director of the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation Programme.

To view Prof Mace’s UCL profile, please click here.

Dr Sandra Nogué

Keynote speech title: Ensuring the long-term conservation of island ecosystems

sandranoguepngDr Nogué is a James Martin Fellow at the Long Term Ecology Lab at the University of Oxford. Her research interests are diverse and range from past forest dynamics to the processes by which endemic patterns change over space and time. 

Dr Nogué uses various palaeoecological techniques (fossil pollen, micro and macrofossil charcoal and sediment geochemistry) with quantitative analysis and GIS modelling to understand past long-term system dynamics. She is currently interested in answering the questions:  ‘What is the “natural variability” of vegetation in the absence of humans?’ and ‘What impact did past human activities have on the development of the current vegetation types?’ To date her research has taken her to the Neotropical Guayana Highlands (Tepui mountains, Venezuela) and the Canary Islands (Spain) and she will soon be working in the Western Ghats (India).

To view Dr Nogué’s University of Oxford profile, please click here.

Prof Katrina Brown

Keynote speech title: Doing interdisciplinary research on ecosystem services and the challenges this poses

Katrina-BrownProf Brown is Chair in Social Science and a member of the Geography Department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on how individuals and societies understand and respond to change, and their different capacities for adaptation and transformation. 

More specifically, her interests lie in ecosystem services and human wellbeing, global environmental change and resilience, transformation and sustainability. Prof Brown’s current projects include Sustainable poverty alleviation from coastal ecosystem services (SPACES), The Human Resilience to Climate Change and Disasters Working Group and The Resilience Alliance

To view Prof Brown’s University of Exeter profile, please click here.


Prof Dave Raffaelli: Prof Raffaelli is Professor of Environmental Science at the University of York and Director of BESS. He has worked extensively on the relationships between biodiversity, and ecosystem services and functioning across marine, freshwater and terrestrial systems. At present, he is a board member of Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability (ACES), of Marine Alliance for Strategy and Technology Scotland (MASTS) 2010-13, and is on the Expert Panel of the National Ecosystem Assessment. For more information on Prof Raffaelli and his work, please click here

Dr Felix Eigenbrod: Dr Eigenbrod is a Lecturer in Ecology and Ecosystem Services in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton and co-chair of Sustainability Science at Southampton. Dr Eigenbrod is interested in quantifying the often complex interactions between biodiversity, society and ecosystem services, and at identifying the spatial and temporal scales at which tradeoffs and interactions occur. To visit Dr Eigenbrod’s University profile, please click here.

Dr Patrick Doncaster: Dr Doncaster is a Reader in Population Ecology in the Centre for Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. His research interests include animal population dynamics and competition, metapopulation dynamics and habitat loss and wildlife corridors and species conservation. To learn more about Dr Doncaster and his work, please click here.

Prof Mary Edwards: Prof Edwards is Professor in Physical Geography in Geography and Environment at the University of Southampton. Her research focuses on global environmental change – understanding climate-driven changes in landscape, vegetation, and ecosystem processes over a range of timescales. She is also interested in vegetation ecology, biodiversity conservation and land management in both Europe and Madagascar. To view Prof Edwards’ University profile, please click here.

Dr James Dyke: Dr Dyke isLecturer in Complex Systems Simulation at the University of Southampton and co-chair of Sustainability Science at Southampton. His research interests are wide and varied and include (in alphabetical order) agent-based modelling, artificial life, astrobiology, complexity science, cybernetics, earth system science, ecology, ecosystem services, evolution, major evolutionary transitions and thermodynamics. To learn more about Dr Dyke and his work, please go to his University profile here