Alistair Fritter. People, plants and planet

Filmed at Gatsby Summer School, 2011

Picture10Abstract: Population issues are receiving renewed attention from both scientists and policy-makers and well-founded predictions of likely global population growth have given new urgency to concerns about food security and loss of ecosystem services.  Plant science has a central role to play in making it possible to feed the entire human population properly and to put an end to the scandal of global poverty.  One of our biggest challenges is to learn how to manage land in such a way that it delivers multiple services, especially to make enhanced food production compatible with other ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water supply and the maintenance of biodiversity

Speaker Profile: Alastair Fitter is Professor of Ecology at the University of York.  His research focuses on plant-soil interactions and mycorrhizal symbioses, especially in relation to the biological impacts of climate change, and on ecosystem services.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and Vice-President of the International Association of Ecology (INTECOL).  He was appointed CBE in 2009.  He chaired the European Academies Science Advisory Council group on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity in Europe and was a member of the expert review group for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment and of the Royal Society group on People and Planet. He is an author of numerous popular natural history books, principally on plant identification.

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