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External Events

Immigrants to the rescue! How can immigration help save threatened wildlife populations?
14 March
Zoological Society of London
Threatened species have invariably small and frequently isolated populations, and are thus characterized by increased inbreeding and depleted genetic variation. Increased inbreeding could lead to a reduction in reproduction and survival (inbreeding depression), which causes an immediate risk of extinction.

Depleted genetic variation could compromise the ability of a species to adapt to an ever-changing environment, threatening its long-term survival. How to mitigate these adverse effects of small populations, and maintain a threatened species for short- and long-term survival, is a major task for conservation science.

Supplementing genetically impoverished populations with external unrelated individuals (immigrants) can be a valuable strategy to counteract the negative effects of isolation. This ‘genetic rescue’ effect occurs because the addition of unrelated genomes increases diversity in the recipient population, reducing inbreeding and inbreeding depression.

Genetic rescue has the added benefit of increasing population size and larger populations are less vulnerable to random events, such as a natural disaster or disease outbreak.

Despite the potential benefits of genetic rescue for the management of threatened species, there have been fewer than twenty published studies of genetic rescue/restoration for conservation purposes. Why has there been such a low uptake?

The speakers will describe the hurdles, and illustrate how genetic rescue can be expedited through reintroduction and conservation programmes.

WaterLIFE Final Event
16 March
WaterLIFE is a three-year, EU LIFE-funded project that started in 2014. It has focused on supporting and establishing the Catchment Based Approach (CaBA) through the national secretariat and through new work in five demonstration catchments. We have delivered workshops and events, and worked with government and business to understand their role in supporting and enabling a catchment approach.

As WaterLIFE draws to a close, this one day conference, hosted by WWF-UK, The Rivers Trust, Westcountry Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency, aims to bring together all those involved in catchment partnerships – NGOs, volunteers, companies, government and regulators – to share success stories and think about what’s needed next.

BES & Newcastle University: Identifying the opportunities for and threats to the British Uplands
17 March

This workshop draws together some of the major stakeholders in the British uplands to examine the issues, threats and opportunities for upland ecosystems. It will hear from a diverse range of speakers representing potentially different visions for the future during the morning, before a facilitated plenary discussion and feedback session in the afternoon.

The event will aim to capture the diverse range of views in order to identify the key policy and research priorities and help to guide future work by British Ecological Society (BES) in this important area.

Conservation Optimism Summit
20 - 22 April
London, UK
The Conservation Optimism Summit, a joint initiative of the University of Oxford, ZSL, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS), will celebrate progress in conservation and how it has benefited peoples lives. The summit aims to reframe the conservation movement, in which progress is often overshadowed by negativity. The summit will seek to inspire budding and perennial conservationists to continue their important work and to help us all learn from conservation success stories moving forward.

Cambridge Conservation Initiative: EarthOptimism
22 April 2017

Given the crisis facing nature, it is all too easy to give up hope. Yet, around the globe we are winning the fight to protect the natural world. Deforestation is slowing down. Wetlands are being rebuilt. Numbers of some of our rarest creatures are on the rise. People are making this change happen. Stand with us on Earth Day 2017 to celebrate what is working and why. Discover how every one of us can become more involved in winning the fight – come to #EarthOptimism Cambridge.
The day will be filled with inspiring talks by leading conservationists, popular naturalists, and celebrity figures. We will find out what is happening in the Cambridgeshire countryside and in pioneering British schools, and we will journey from the Amazon to Madagascar’s mangroves. Our experts will explain how people are bringing critically endangered species back from the brink, restoring forests and removing waste from our oceans.

SAHFOS 4th International Marine Phytoplankton Workshop
3 - 14 July

The Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS) is delighted to announce they will be running this popular workshop again from 3rd July - 14th July 2017 in Plymouth, UK. This is an introductory workshop aimed at all those working in the marine phytoplankton field. Classification and taxonomy of the major marine microalgal groups will be covered in this interactive workshop. Practical elements using a variety of methodologies and techniques will cover sampling, settling and slide preparation, cell counting, isolation, microscopy and culturing. A team of specially selected international experts will deliver the programme through a combination of seminars and hands-on practical sessions.
In order to keep a small and focused workshop, places are limited to 20. The costs of the workshop are £1,750 per participant and this includes the course fee, including tuition and all materials, accommodation for the complete period, an icebreaker event, breakfast and lunch on weekdays, a social event and two course dinners. The fee does not include travel arrangements, visa requirements and other meals. Successful participants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £250 by 31st March 2017 to secure their place on this popular course.