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Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre

Newsletter August 2020

Upcoming events

GGBC 3rd Annual Biodiversity Lecture

Afternoon of Wednesday, October 21st
Live-Stream Event
Save the date for this year's GGBC Biodiversity Lecture. This year's speakers are representatives from IPBES, the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem services who received the WIN-WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Award this year.
Read more about the winners and the award here and mark October 21st in your calendar! A registration link will come in the next newsletter.

Feedback Hearing:
The City of Gothenburg's Climate and Environment Program for 2021-2030

September 25th, 14.00-16.00
Location: Zoom

The City of Gothenburg has requested feedback on the biodiversity aspect of their Environment and Sustainability Plan for 2021-2030, which is in its final stages of development. Together, the GGBC and the City of Gothenburg will host as online hearing with biodiversity experts that is also open to researchers and the public to reflect on the document in its final phase.  This hearing will specifically focus on nature and ecosystem services. The event will be held in Swedish.

Sustainability Festival with a Focus on Biodiversity

October 19-25, 2020

The City of Gothenburg and Studiefrämjandet are organizing a week of events focusing on how we can live more sustainable in theory and practice, for anyone and everyone interested in learning and making changes in their own lives. This year the focus is biodiversity!
Interested in organizing an event during the festival? Join this startup webinar on Friday, September 4th, where Heléne Aronsson from the GGBC will give a short introduction to biodiversity and discuss how you can incorporate it in your event during the festival.

Other news

Så Vilda! Seminar Week

Two weeks ago, the communication project Så Vilda! held a seminar week filled with talks and tips for teachers to help them inspire kids about biodiversity. The seminars featured researchers and teachers from Botaniska, Gothenburg Natural History Museum and the Dept. of Biological and Environmental Sciences at GU.

All talks are recorded and available to listen to here. The topics include:
  • A general introduction to biodiversity
  • Wild bees
  • Ecosystem services
  • Bees & pollination
  • And more!

West Coast Maritime Week

On August 1st-9th the West Coast Maritime Week (Västerhavsveckan) took place around the West coast of Sweden. "Species bingo," beach cleaning and guided nature walks took place all over the Swedish West Coast, giving locals from all backgrounds a chance to learn about biodiversity in the marine environment. GGBC members and partners made sure to celebrate the week with multiple fun events.
Marine workshops and bioblitzes were held in several cities with experienced marine biologists from the Aquarium and Seafaring Museum
Nordens Ark released three movies about how our activities on land affect the marine environment.

Havets Hus arranged species bingo and sustainable crab fishing activities among other things.

A Sea of Life / Ett hav av liv:
11 minute watch

To celebrate Swedish Maritime Week and our local biodiversity, Havets Hus released this movie about biodiversity in the sea. It was produced by biodiversity-enthusiast and GGBC collaborator Jonas Stenström.

WIN-WIN Gothenburg Sustainability Awards
Youth Award Winner:
Sustainable Forestry in Ethiopia
The winner of the WIN WIN Youth Award 2020 is Ariana Yuen with the project Forested Foods in Ethiopia. The jury - led by expert advice from GGBC member Alma Hodzic -  says the project  "demonstrates well-grounded action for biodiversity through an agroforestry model that unifies local economic development with environmental conservation."

Ocean Blues on Swedish Radio P4

What can today's youth and future leaders do to turn their eco-anxiety into eco-action? That is the big question that Ocean Blues addresses and that is discussed in this radio interview on Swedish Radio P4 (In Swedish).

Listen to Malin Rosengren from the Centre for Sea and Society, and project leader for Ocean Blues, talk about how this project is inspiring students to take control, and even design their own actionable path forward.

The mystery of the mass elephant deaths in Botswana - Radio interview

In this radio interview on Radio Islam International, GGBC'er Kate Evans, founder of Elephants for Africa, talks about the unexpected mass death of elephants in Botswana during the spring of 2020 and how the ongoing pandemic complicated the investigation into it. The interview starts at 1:45 in the segment.

The full impact of supermarket labeling
There are nearly 500 eco-labels in use - but what do they really mean and do they indeed help the consumer? Coop has proposed a new, inclusive labeling system the addresses 10 key sustainability issues in one graphic. Is this finally the answer, or just adding more packaging noise?

GGBC director Allison Perrigo together with GGBC'ers Louisa Durkin, Emke Vrasdonk and Alexandre Antonelli explore the pros and cons of sustainability labeling when it comes to biodiversity, in this blog in the Nature Sustainability Community.
Picture: Emma-Sofia Olsson/SvD/TT

Call for more ambitious actions for biodiversity by the Swedish government
In this debate article in Göteborgs-Posten the Swedish government is criticized for backing down on their ambitious goals to spearhead the EU biodiversity strategy.

The article is written by researchers and leaders from the WWF, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Stockholm Resilience Center and the Swedish Biodiversity Centre.
Organising COVID-19 data will help us respond more swiftly to this and future pandemics

In a blog on BioMedCentral by Alexandre Antonelli, Daniel Edler, Daniele Silvestro and colleagues on how we can learn from decades of biodiversity and genomic research to solve the urgent challenge to compile and standardise COVID-related data across the world.

Upcoming Transmitting Science Courses


Introduction to evolutionary quantative genetics
September 14th-18th, 2020 (ONLINE) 

Introduction to phylogenomics
October 1st-9th, 2020 (ONLINE)

Modelling and analysing multivariate traits evolution using MVMORPH
November 9th-13th, 2020 (ONLINE)

GGBC members get a 20% discount on Transmitting Science courses. To receive this discount, note that you are a member in your application for the discount to apply.
PhD course: Plant–Atmosphere Interactions in a Changing Climate

12-16 October 2020
Location: Zoom

PhD course at the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Gothenburg with ClimbEco. This course deals with the responses of plants (mostly crops and forests) to global environmental change factors such as rising CO2, warming, tropospheric ozone, and nitrogen deposition. The main emphasis is on ecophysiological plant responses and how they affect ecosystem processes such as productivity, carbon balance and water cycling.

For more information and to sing up, contact Johan Uddling

Member Research Highlights

Selective extinction against redundant species buffers functional diversity

Christine Bacon, Daniele Silvestro, Alexander Zizka and Alexandre Antonelli together with colleagues compile a trait dataset of fossil molluscs from a 23-million-year interval in the Caribbean Sea. They develop a novel Bayesian model of multi-trait-dependent diversification to reconstruct mollusc diversity dynamics, changes in functional diversity, and extinction selectivity in order to understand how functional diversity responds to long-term biodiversity dynamics.
Molecular systematics, species limits, and diversification of the genus Dendrocolaptes (Aves: Furnariidae): Insights on biotic exchanges between dry and humid forest types in the Neotropics

Here Romina Batista and colleagues evaluate species limits and reconstruct the diversification through time for a genus of woodcreepers (Dendrocolaptes). They find support for the previously established two major clades but their results also indicates that the number of species within the genus may be greatly underestimated based on the current taxonomy.

Read the Open Access paper in the Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
Untapped resources for medical research

Here Alexandre Antonelli and colleagues call for a comprehensive scientific study of biodiversity to inspire, accelerate, and innovate medicinal discovery in the age of a global pandemic.

Read the full text in Science Letters
Have you published recently using your GGBC affiliation? Email a link to the publication to Heléne Aronsson so GGBC can promote your paper!
GGBC Fun Fact
Renovations are on at the Gothenburg Natural History Museum, but bad news: there is a mole on the loose! What is this feisty creature's agenda? And what will our partners there do about it?! Stay tuned...

Contact information

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

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