The Crisis of Life team
Miguel Araujo is Senior Researcher of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, and visiting 'Rui Nabeiro' Biodiversity Chair at the University of Évora. He is co-chair of the bioDISCOVERY Core Project/DIVERSITAS, and was contributor to the IV IPCC Assessment Report. He is also editor of two of the most important macroecological journals, Ecography and the Journal of Biogeography. His main scientific contributions have been in (1) the development of quantitative reserve-selection techniques (i.e. methods to select those areas most valuable for conservation purposes), (2) the development of modelling approaches to describe the distribution of species in the past, present and under future development scenarios, e.g., climate change, and (3) the assessment of how ecosystem services may change due to human-caused global change.
Neville Ash is Head of the Ecosystem Management Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), co-chair of the bioDISCOVERY Core Project/DIVERSITAS, and was a member of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Synthesis Team. He was Head of the Ecosystem Assessments Programme at World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP-WCMC) where he was working on a range of indicator and international assessment initiatives linking ecosystems and people, including follow-up to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and leading on the development and initial phases of the GEF-funded 2010 Biodiversity Indicators Partnership.
Norbert Jürgens is Professor of Botany at the University of Hamburg and co-chair of the bioDISCOVERY Core Project/DIVERSITAS. His main scientific contributions have been in (1) the study of the biodiversity, evolution and ecology of plants, (2) in the setting up of BIOTA AFRICA, a continent-wide monitoring program to detect changes in biodiversity and ecosystem functions, especially in the drier areas of Africa, and (3) in ongoing research about how to restore degraded and desertified ecosystems.
Anne Larigauderie is Execute Director of DIVERSITAS, the International Programme of Biodiversity Science and a Task Co-Lead of the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network Steering Committee. Her main scientific contributions have been in (1) the development of various biodiversity-related research and policy initiatives around the world and (2) the effects of temperature, nutrient enrichment and CO2 enrichment on plant physiology and growth.
Paul Leadley is Professor of Ecology, Director of the Laboratoire d'Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution at University of Paris at Orsay and co-chair of the bioDISCOVERY Core Project/DIVERSITAS. His main scientific contributions have been in (1) bringing together a broad variety of observations, experiments and models to better quantify the impact of climate change on biodiversity, (2) studying the effects of changes in temperature, precipitation and atmospheric CO2 concentrations on nitrogen cycling and on plant community structure in herbaceous ecosystems, and (3) investigating the relationships between plant diversity and ecosystem functioning in grasslands.
Terry Root is a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, in the department of Biology at Stanford University. She was a Lead Author for Impacts and Vulnerabilities in the Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For this work, she received the Nobel Peace Prize shared with the other IPCC lead authors and Albert Gore in 2007. Her main scientific contributions have been in (1) the study of the synergistic effects of human and natural disturbances on the viability of species and populations over the next several centuries, (2) the study of biogeographic influence and ecological consequences of current and future rapid climate change on species around the globe, and (3) determining actions needed to minimize the number of species to be included in the incipient mass extinction event. She is also interested in enhancing communications between scientists, policy makers and the general public and the reasons for the attrition rate of women in science.
Stephen Schneider was a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor of Environmental Biology and Global Change at Stanford University, and a Co-Director at the Center for Environment Science and Policy of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He served as a consultant to Federal Agencies and White House staff in several U.S. administrations. He was a Coordinating Lead Author in the Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). For this work, he received the Nobel Peace Prize shared with the other IPCC lead authors and Albert Gore in 2007. His main scientific contributions have been in (1) the development of models of the atmosphere, climate change, and "the relationship of biological systems to global climate change" and (2) by founding and editing the journal Climatic Change.
Sadly, Stephen died on 19 July 2010, exactly one month after the interviews with him and Terry Root were recorded on 19 June 2010 in Taipei, Taiwan.
Robert Scholes is a Fellow at the CSIR Natural Resources and Environment, South Africa. His main scientific contributions have been in (1) the study of the effects of human activities on ecosystems, and in particular on African savannas and woodlands, (2) the study of ecosystem biogeochemistry in relation to climate change and ecosystem dynamics, and (3) his involvement in several international environmental assessments and research programmes, such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the Global Climate Observing System, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Global Terrestrial Observing System, the International Centre for Research In Agroforestry, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, DIVERSITAS and the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network. He is a Fellow of the South African Academy and the Royal Society of South Africa, and a member of the South African Institute of Ecologists and several other professional societies, and serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals.
Vandana Shiva is a philosopher, environmental activist, eco-feminist and author of several books and over 300 papers in scientific and technical journals. During the 1970s, she participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement which adopted the approach of forming human circles around trees to prevent their felling. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has been involved in activist campaigns focused on agricultural practices, food production, intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, and genetic engineering. In 1982, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, which led to the creation of Navdanya. Her book, "Staying Alive" helped redefine perceptions of third world women. Shiva has also served as an adviser to governments in India and abroad as well as non-governmental organisations, including the International Forum on Globalisation, the Women's Environment & Development Organization and the Third World Network. She has been awarded numerous prices, including the Right Livelihood Award (the 'Alternative Nobel Prize') ", the Global 500 Award of the United Nations Environment Programme, the Earth Day International Award of the United, the Golden Plant Award (International Award of Ecology), the Save The World Award and the Sydney Peace Prize.
Woody Turner is Program Scientist for Biological Diversity and Program Manager of Ecological Forecasting at the Earth Science Division at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He is also a Task Co-Lead of the Group on Earth Observations - Biodiversity Observation Network Steering Committee. His main scientific contributions have been in (1) the development of research projects using satellite data to observe and relate environmental parameters to biodiversity at multiple spatial scales, (2) the study of ecosystem feedbacks onto the geophysical world, e.g. the climate, and (3) the development of applications projects that bring together satellite observations and associated ecological models for incorporation into decision support tools used by conservation biologists and natural resource managers. The goal is to enable managers in partner organizations to understand better how their actions could affect ecosystems of concern.
James Leape is Director General of WWF's International Secretariat. Mr. Leape began his career as an environmental lawyer - bringing environmental protection cases in the United States, advising the United Nations Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, and co-authoring the leading American text on environmental law. Mr. Leape first joined WWF in the US in 1989, and for 10 years led their conservation programmes around the world, serving as Executive Vice President.