Human activity causes massive environmental changes across scales, including the spread of invasive species, climate change and biodiversity loss. However, understanding both these changes and their trajectories into the future can be challenging, yet is paramount to targeting conservation action. In this lecture, Brian Leung of the Department of Biology at McGill University will discuss his attempts to understand and forecast invasive pest spread and biodiversity loss at global, continental and regional levels, presenting his insights, the main challenges and some reasons for cautious optimism.
Brian Leung is an Associate Professor at McGill University, UNESCO Chair for Dialogues on Sustainability and Director of the Neotropical Environment Option (NEO) graduate program, a collaborative program between McGill and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). His research focuses on predictive, integrative modelling under uncertainty, and has included global, country-scale and regional ecological forecasts, bio-economic risk analysis, management and policy as well as development of theoretical tools. He has worked across terrestrial, aquatic and marine biomes.