Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gabby Ahmadia to speak tonight October 30, 2019, 7 pm in Rueckert Auditorium, Dominican Hall, Siena Heights University

Dr. Gabby Ahmadia is a director of marine conservation science on the Ocean Conservation team at WWF where she provides programmatic and technical support on a range of marine issues. Gabby is interested in how we better design and implement conservation programs at the intersection of communities and coastal ecosystems (primarily coral reefs and mangroves). She has expertise in tropical marine ecology, community-based conservation, area-based management (i.e. LMMAs, MPAs), monitoring design and implementation, and impact evaluation of marine conservation interventions. Gabby is focused geographically in the Coral Triangle and Coastal East Africa.
Originally hailing from Hawai‘i, Gabby has a wealth of experience, ranging from monitoring and eradication programs for invasive plant species in Natural Area Reserve Systems in Hawaii to marine ecophysiology to developing rapid vulnerability and resilience assessments for coral reefs. She has worked for over 15 years on marine science and conservation issues across the Pacific Ocean and into the Coral Triangle, with a recent expansion into Coastal Africa.  Gabby completed her PhD in Coastal and Marine Systems Science from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, investigating factors that structure coral reef fish assemblages.

The title of Gabby’s talk is "Conservation in the Anthropocene: creating a world where both people and nature can co-exist”.
Species and habitats are declining at alarming rates and are under siege from overuse, exploitation, and degradation from human activities. These threats are being further compounded by impacts from climate change that are changing the environment including changes in rainfall patterns, frequency and intensity of storms, ocean acidification, increasing sea-temperatures, and rising sea-levels.   With an increasing human population, conservation is shifting from the traditional biodiversity focus in a world that restricts access to those ‘wild places’ to increasing considerations of sustainable development and human well-being while maintaining a healthy, intact environment.  And it’s also not all ‘doom and gloom’; there are examples across the globe in which NGOs, governments, communities, and other stakeholders come together to tackle environmental issues and provide sustainable solutions for both nature and people.  This presentation will: (1) give an overview on global trends in biodiversity in both the land and the sea; (2) describe the evolution of conservation approaches;  (3) provide a dose of conservation optimism and journey through different regions of the world with conservation success stories, highlighting projects that WWF has supported; and (4) discuss collective action: how individuals can act across the world to help tackle biodiversity loss and climate change.

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