Learn more about Sessions.
Extreme ecosystems are changing rapidly due to humans and climate change. This poses a risk to their biodiversity and the ecosystem services they provide. Ecologists study the mechanisms underlying the structure and functioning of these ecosystems, to understand their current state and possible future variations.
Terrestrial ecosystems are continuously exposed to pressures related to anthropogenic activity that can compromise their structure and functioning and therefore the ability to provide goods and services. Ecologists study the effects of these pressures on ecosystem components and processes and simulate possible future scenarios with a view to directing choices and policies towards sustainable development.
Marine ecosystems are experiencing changes without precedents that undermine its ability to produce goods and services. To guarantee an ecologically sustainable development of the oceans, ecologists question the causes of change and propose new ones ecological conservation, management and restoration practices.
Freshwater and Transitional Ecosystems
Since ancient times cities have arisen either on the river banks or lakes or on the sea coasts; this has meant that these ecosystems, more than other, have suffered the anthropic impact. With a view to the Ecological transition, ecologists are proposing the possibility of containing this impact on their structure and functions.
To protect the Natural Capital and the quality of life, it is essential to spread the culture of sustainable development as advocated by the ONU Agenda 2030 through the protection of biodiversity, the restoration of ecosystems and the services they provide, defined as the benefits that humanity draws from the natural world.
Anthropogenic impacts and climate change are altering biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems also through the introduction of often invasive alien species. Ecologists are studying the ability to adapt to new habitats by proposing new monitoring and management protocols for these species.
Ecotoxicology and Microbial Ecology
With the aim of reducing and managing anthropogenic pressure on ecosystems, Ecotoxicology and Microbial Ecology have established themselves as applied disciplines capable of developing useful methods for predicting and assessing the ecological risk from chemical and physical pollutants, as well as techniques for the recovery of contaminated sites.
Theoretical Ecology, Models and Methods
Understanding the functioning of populations, ecological communities and ecosystems requires statistical and modeling tools to explore increasingly refined laboratory and field data. It is thus possible to outline future scenarios regarding the impact of mankind and global changes.
Prof. Robert Scheller Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University (USA)
Dr. Scheller is Professor of Landscape Ecology at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. He is the President of the International Association for Landscape Ecology. Robert has published more than 100 manuscripts and book chapters. His first book, ‘Managing Landscapes for Change’ has been published in 2021.