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Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre

Newsletter June 2020

WIN-WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award: IPBES opens our eyes to the threat against biodiversity
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is this year’s winner of the WIN WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award and the prize of 1.000.000 SEK. Among other endeavours, IPBES published the report that estimates that one million of Earth’s approximate eight million species of plants and animals are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.

A representative from IPBES will accept the award, hopefully in person in Gothenburg, in October of this year. The Third Annual GGBC Biodiversity Lecture will be held on October 21st in connection with the festivities, featuring a representative from IPBES.


Upcoming Events

Digital inauguration of new photo exhibition at Havets Hus

June 18th, 14:00
Link to Facebook Live stream

Join the digital inauguration of a new photo exhibition at Havets Hus. Nature photographer Roger Jansson will display underwater photos taken in and around Havets Hus. In the exhibition, you can also find a database where you can learn more about the sea and the creatures that inhabit it.

The show is on display at the back end of the aquarium and will be open during the whole summer, the aquarium is open every day between 9-18.

Slottsskogen GO
Slottsskogens Djurpark has taken their education to Instagram! Spread over the park are 10 signs with information about species and biodiversity, if you post a picture of them, tagging @slottsskogen you receive even more information and can chat with people from the park. A great way to explore the park and educate yourself. Maybe take some friends out and try and find all 10 signs!

More information and a map can be found at
Slottskogens Instagram account

Other News

International Biodiversity Day: May 22
How did GGBC celebrate?
This year the GGBC partners celebrated International Biodiversity Day all around western Sweden, mostly through digital events.

Did you miss out? It's not too late to watch or re-watch!

The red mason bee, one of our most effective pollinators
Did you know there are about 230 species of solitary bees in Sweden? This short movie about these diligent creatures shares information about their lives and what we can do to help them thrive. Produced by Göteborgs Botaniska Trädgård and Göteborgs Naturhistoriska Museum (In Swedish)

Live streaming from the Botanical Garden
Botanists Stina Weststrand och Åsa Kruger from the Botaniska talk about biodiversity in plants and give a virtual tour of the garden. (In Swedish)

Live streaming from Havets Hus
Martin Stjernstedt at Havets Hus guides us through tagging of small spotted dogfish and talks about their place in the ecosystem around the west coast of Sweden, also with Helen Sköld. (In Swedish)

Preparation for flower sowing at Universeum
Kathrin Fries, head gardener at Universeum, prepares to plant flowers on the roof at Universeum. Check out this video where she explains why it's important for bees and other insects to have access to the correct plants and what you should think about when planting and growing your garden. (In Swedish)

What are the biggest threats to biodiversity?

To celebrate Biodiversity Day, the University of Gothenburg asked GGBC director Allison Perrigo about the threats to biodiversity, why it's important and how we are impacting it.

Biodiversity in Production and Retail: A Digital Seminar and Workshop

On May 28th Agenda 2030 i Väst hosted a digital seminar and workshop on biodiversity in production and retail together with the GGBC, GMV and Kooperativet Synvända. Over 80 participants listened to talks about biodiversity, where science stands on measuring it as well as what businesses are doing today to incorporate biodiversity into their sustainability work.

A follow-up workshop is taking place on June 17th where participants will continue discussing biodiversity and developing collaborations around it.

Inventory of the plants at Universeum

What's growing at Universeum? Good question, since many of the plants in the rain forest section still need specialist identification! Claes Persson from the Herbarium GB has started the process of identifying the many plants at Universeum together with Universeum's head gardener Kathrin Fries. In the future, Kathrin and Claes hope to involve other plant specialists in the process.

Online Biodiversity Informatics Workshop

On May 25-29 the GGBC held it's very first online biodiversity informatics workshop. The week started off with three days on Spatial data and how to manage it in R, then moved into Python for biologists. The whole course took place via Zoom and the response was very positive. The course was so popular that we plan on a future course in the coming year -- announcements and further information will be shared here when it is available.

Many thanks to Tobias Andermann who taught the course together with Matthias Obst and Søren Faurby, introducing the participants to the world of maps, plots and genomic data handling!

Så Vilda
Now more than 4,000 students at 60 schools in 23 towns in Västra Götalands Region have planted Swedish wildflowers as part of Så Vilda! Fields have also been planted in Slottsskogen, next to the Gothenburg Natural History Museum, at Trädgårdsföreningen, up at Nordens Ark, at Innovatum, at Forsviks bruk and of course even at Botaniska.

Want to learn more?  Tune in to the latest Trädgårdspodden Podcast from Botaniska where Så Vilda project leader Helen Ekvall talks more about the project.
Subscribe to Trädgårdspodden on iTunes, Podtail or Spotify

Ocean Blues: Turning Eco-Anxiety into Eco-Actions
It wasn’t planned for the Ocean Blues team to run presentations for high school students online, but that’s what we’re doing. This has enabled the team to reach out to schools that we wouldn’t have otherwise reached. In the autumn we’ll have a mix of in person and online lectures, and also marine station visits to Tjärnö. We’re preparing for the coming term now - this includes filming short clips to add to the presentations with the Sea&society and GGBC team members. The autumn will also bring the first student “eco-actions” followed by the award show in the spring.

Tropical Montane Forests in a Warming Climate

Johan Uddling, Eric Mirindi and colleagues have been exploring the climate sensitivity of tree species in Rwanda for many years. A dedicated team from the University of Gothenburg and the University of Rwanda are managing three experiment stations where trees are planted to examine their response to different temperatures, water access and nutrients. Learn more about their ongoing work in this film.

Växttävlingen at Botaniska

"Vilken växt?" or "Which plant?" where kids compete in identifying plants was supposed to take place in Göteborgs botaniska trädgård this month but has been replaced by smaller group events with the devoted educators at Botaniska.

A class of students from Bovallsstrandskolan, north of Gothenburg, spent the day at the garden together with the educators learning about plants, pollination and the importance of biodiversity.

The kids have also been assembling their own digital herbariums, learning up to 86 species of plants! GGBC leadership stopped by to talk biodiversity with the kids and eat some ice cream.

Member News

PhD student James Hagan's introductory seminar

PhD student James Hagan held his introductory seminar entitled " Scale dependence of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship" on June 3rd with other GGBC'ers tuning in via Zoom.
Adrian Hill and Louisa Durkin presented their master's projects

Adrian Hill and Lousia Durkin held their final degree project presentations at the end of May. Both Adrian and Louisa have been active GGBC members throughout the academic year, and we wish them all the best in their next steps!

PhD thesis by Paola Lima nominated for the Brazilian CAPES Thesis Award

Paola Lima, former PhD student with the GGBC, had her PhD-thesis "Sunflower family in space and time: taxonomy, phylogenomics, historical biogeography and macroevolution of barnadesioideae" nominated for the CAPES thesis award. Big congratulations Paola!

Biodiversity, resilience and a green recovery
On International Biodiversity Day Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at Kew Gardens and former Director of the GGBC, reflects on the importance of biodiversity in the face of the unexpected.

BBC documentary about Colombian deforestation featuring a team from Kew Gardens, including GGBC's Alexandre Antonelli
Kew Gardens botanist Mauricio Diazgranados and BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner went on fieldwork in Colombia last year, joined by a team that included GGBC'er Alexandre Antonelli. A BBC documentary was made about their trip, exploring issues of deforestation, peace-building post-conflict, poverty, development and conservation both in Colombia and the wider world.

Havsutsikt focuses on biodiversity

Havsutsikt is a biannual digital magazine produced by Havsmiljöinstitutet focusing on the latest within marine research. For the first edition of 2020, it's all about biodiversity! Read the new insights and thoughts from GGBC'ers Thomas Dahlgren, Leon Green and Kennet Lundin among others.

Read the full magazine here

Save the date: Focali Annual Meeting November 5th
Save the date! Do you work in the intersection of forests, climate and livelihoods and want to step up knowledge and actions for the super year for nature and people?

PhD opportunities

Sustainable land-use and agricultural systems - Chalmers Technical University, Gothenburg Deadline 21 June
Open PhD position, where the student will be able to formulate a research project within the broad and interdisciplinary field of land system science. Students that want to focus on biodiversity-related questions are much welcomed. More information

Biodiversity in land system science - Chalmers Technical University, Gothenburg Deadline August 2
Investigating land management strategies for meeting the growing biomass demand for food, energy and other bio-based products, while at the same time improving conditions for biodiversity and a range of ecosystem services. More information

PhD Position in Natural Science, specialising in Environmental Science (with focus on microbial ecology/ecotoxicology) - University of Gothenburg Deadline 31 August
This PhD project aims to quantify the capacity of aquatic biofilms to degrade pesticides, to identify microorganisms associated with higher pesticides biodegradation rates and, to determine enzymes and genes that participate in the metabolic pathways of biodegradation. Thereby, this research will provide crucial inputs about the potential of aquatic biofilms for pesticides bioremediation in polluted rivers. More information

Member Research Highlights

A complete time-calibrated multi-gene phylogeny of the European butterflies

Nicolas Chazot and collaborators present the first time-calibrated phylogeny of all 496 extant butterfly species in Europe, including 18 very localised endemics for which no public DNA sequences had been available previously.

Read more here
Have you published recently using your GGBC affiliation? Email a link to the publication to Heléne Aronsson so GGBC can promote your paper!

The Gothenburg Seafaring Museum and Aquarium (Sjöfartsmuseet och akvariet) is under construction for a massive expansion in 2021.  While tearing apart the walls this spring, the building crew found a packet from 1931 with notes from the past! Read more about the surprise discovery in Göteborgs Posten.

Contact information

Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre
Box 461, 40530, Gothenburg, SWEDEN
Copyright © 2020 University of Gothenburg, All rights reserved.

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