Senckenberg Research

Geobiodiversity - An Integrative Approach Expanding Humboldt's Vision
International Conference

hosted by Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung in cooperation with Yale University and Stanford University
October 1st to 3rd 2017
Senckenberganlage 25
60325 Frankfurt

Alexander von Humboldt’s approach to science was visionary: The natural world as an interconnected Earth system with all its geological and biological diversity. As we, Homo sapiens, are part of this system and contribute to its ever changing nature in unprecedented ways, it is time to expand Humboldt’s vision and provide the scientific basis for a sustainable world and ensure future human well-being.

To improve our understanding on how the individual components of this “System Earth” relate to each other, we need to focus on the interactions among its components and identify their reciprocal effects on the relevant spatial and temporal scales. Any ecological community is shaped by abiotic and biotic factors as well as by the phylogenetic history of the lineages, and the geological and climatic history. At the same time without an understanding of how geodynamic processes influence climate and landscape evolution, or global biodiversity, or how climate change affects past and present ecosystems, species and ecological communities, we will fall short in understanding present-day and future biodiversity.

This conference aims at presenting an integrative, systemic approach to natural history research, which is scientifically but also societally relevant. Today, humans have an unprecedented impact on the earth system with consequences not only for biodiversity and ecosystems, but for humanity’s well-being. Projections about future biodiversity and ecosystem services need to include data on the various components and interrelationships and on how environmental change has impacted biodiversity, ecosystems and human societies in the past.

 The focus of this conference is outlined by the following questions:

  1. How do earth system processes affect climate and biogeochemical cycling? How did climate change affect ecosystems, ecological communities and human societies, and vice versa?
  2. How do earth system processes and climate affect macroevolution and ecological change? How does genomics change our view on evolutionary processes?
  3. How have ecosystems and ecological communities changed over long-time scales? What are the implications for conservation of ecosystems and species today and in the future?
  4. How do past and present-day changes in ecosystems and ecological communities affect conservation and ecosystem services for humans today and in the future? How can science be effective in policy-making and decision-making?
  5. How do scientific collections contribute to and shape geobiodiversity research? What are the opportunities and challenges for scientific collections in the future?
  6. How do we engage at the interfaces between science, policy and society?

Plenary speakers:

Scientific Committee: