The extended >10,000 years of human impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems at a near-global scale means that species have been on the move for many millennia. Many species that surround us today are there because, rather than in spite, of human activity. I will illustrate this by, for example, the growth of plant diversity in the Holocene, ecosystem-level diversity over the last 1000 years and the associations of abundant and increasing species with human habitat modification. So many changes have taken place over such a long duration that the human and non-human influences on ecological communities can no longer be unpicked. We cannot turn the clock back, so how should we see, and manage, the ecological future?


Short Bio: Chris Thomas works on the ecology, evolution and conservation of biodiversity in the Anthropocene. His book, Inheritors of the Earth: how Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction, was listed as one of The Times, Economist, and Guardian Books of the Year (2017). Chris is Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the University of York and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his work on understanding how populations and species distributions respond to habitat and climatic changes. His work has influenced the development of UK and international policies for conservation and climate change.

Find out more about Chris's work here:


And about the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity here: