This lecture was held on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 as part of the 2015 St Andrews Prize for the Environment.
Professor Callum Roberts is a marine conservation biologist in the Environment Department at York University.
From 2001 to 2012 her work within the National Trust led to a radical change in structure and management for this well-known institution giving it a more welcoming approach for its 4 million members. She has also previously been Director of the Women's Unit in the Cabinet Office, Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England and Secretary to the Council for National Parks.
Human impact on the oceans has increased dramatically in the last half century. The intensity and breadth of these changes imperils marine life, and biodiversity is dwindling at an alarming rate.
In addressing this challenge, one thing in our favour is the fact that human impact in the sea lags behind land-based impact by a hundred years or more. While many terrestrial species have become extinct, most marine species are still with us. There is hope of changing course and saving them, but to do so we face many challenges.
In this talk, Professor Callum Roberts will draw on thirty years’ extensive research experience to address such key questions as: How do we protect species when we don’t know where they are, or even that they exist? How do we protect life in a realm that is hostile to most of the conservation methods used on land?