Wetlands under threat. Inaugral lecture from Professor Christopher Joyce

One of the most important ecosystems that have benefitted humans for thousands of years is under threat from environmental change.

Professor Chris Joyce, Professor of Ecology in our school, said wetlands – including floodplains, marshes and wet grasslands – provide flood protection, water purification and biodiversity, and humans have exploited them for agriculture, including rice production.

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But Professor Joyce, who has spent 25 years researching wetland ecology, management and restoration, said they are threatened globally by drainage, agricultural intensification and abandonment of previously-managed sites.

He said: “They face an uncertain future because, although opportunities exist for the restoration of damaged wetlands, climate change poses emerging challenges for their sustainable management.”

Professor Joyce will discuss the implications of environmental change in European wet grasslands and what the future holds for the world’s wetlands in a lecture at the Sallis Benney Theatre in the University’s Grand Parade building, Brighton, at 6.30pm on 14 March.

To register for tickets, go to: www.brighton.ac.uk/openlectures

Professor Joyce leads the Ecosystems and Environmental Management Research Group and the Centre for Aquatic Environments. He has conducted more than 20 major ecological consultancy projects, specialising in botanical and wildlife surveys, preparing management plans, biodiversity audits, and ecological impact assessment. He has advised Government bodies, universities, non-governmental organisations and industry on ecology, biodiversity and environmental management.

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