Hola! It’s been a busy two months since I last blogged to introduce the Big Seaweed Search (BSS) in Mexico. Today I want to continue by describing the programme that the team has created for BSS in Mexico, highlighting some of the differences with the programme in the UK and discussing some of the compromises and trade-offs we made when adapting the project to a new country.Continue reading “Compromises and trade-offs in adapting the Big Seaweed Search in Mexico | Community Science”
Sustainability Makes Sense – New Year, New Targets | Kimberley Lewis, Interim Head of Sustainability
Sustainability. Makes. Sense.
To me, environmental management and sustainability has always made sense for organisations – if we work more efficiently and waste less of everything, we can reduce the negative impacts on our environment as well as save both time and money. No brainer, right?Continue reading “Sustainability Makes Sense – New Year, New Targets | Kimberley Lewis, Interim Head of Sustainability”
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion update | Executive Director of Engagement
Over the last few months, we have welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors through our doors, opened our hugely popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and celebrated the end of the smash hit tour of our famous dinosaur Dippy at Norwich Cathedral.
We hosted a Nature Bar event space in Glasgow during COP26 in collaboration with our Ambassador David de Rothschild and his organisation Voice for Nature. As part of The New York Times Climate Hub, the Nature Bar gave visitors and delegates an opportunity to connect with the Museum’s solutions-focused science and a fantastically diverse line-up of young activists, explorers, artists and business leaders.
A standout session for me was seeing our Biodiversity Researcher Dr Adriana De Palma discussing the pressures on our planet with DJ, music producer and environmental toxicologist Jayda G and activists Daphne Frias and Phoebe Hanson (Operations Director for Force of Nature) – a stellar panel and a fascinating discussion.Continue reading “Equality, Diversity and Inclusion update | Executive Director of Engagement”
A sustainable move | Sarah-Jane Newbery, Moves Project Manager
Sustainability and climate change are very much at the forefront of all our minds at the moment, and especially when planning for the largest specimen move ever undertaken by the Museum.Continue reading “A sustainable move | Sarah-Jane Newbery, Moves Project Manager”
Can biofuels solve the planetary emergency we are facing? | PREDICTS biodiversity team
In this post, masters student Sophie Jane Tudge details her research into biofuels.
Carbon-neutral energy sounds like it is exactly what the world needs right now. With the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) almost upon us, more people than ever are asking how we can halt climate change to protect our planet and, ultimately, ourselves. The greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels have led to many countries, including the UK, to make commitments to shift over to renewable energy sources. But renewable energy does not always mean that it is good for the environment. Let’s take a look at one growing form of renewable energy: biofuels.Continue reading “Can biofuels solve the planetary emergency we are facing? | PREDICTS biodiversity team”
The pandemic is a pivotal moment to raise awareness of biodiversity loss
Biodiversity loss is low on the public agenda, but the pandemic could help us reassess our relationship with the natural world, writes Clare Matterson, the Museum’s Director of Engagement.
A newfound appreciation for weeds in the cracks of city pavements, enjoying melodious birdsong in place of the booming traffic and marvelling at quiet clear blue skies have become daily lockdown news.
Amidst the tragedy of Covid-19, nature has thrived and as we have slowed down in lockdown its variety has caught our eye.
Today is International Day For Biological Diversity, created by the United Nations 27 years ago to raise awareness of biodiversity issues and celebrate that variety.
Since then scientists have warned us about the catastrophic loss of species and their habitat because of our actions.
We need that variety of life on earth for food, medicines and clean water, never mind a spiritual boost in tough times.
Continue reading “The pandemic is a pivotal moment to raise awareness of biodiversity loss”
A million threatened species? Thirteen questions and answers
Prof. Andy Purvis
Coordinating Lead Author, IPBES Global Assessment and Life Sciences Research Leader at The Natural History Museum, London
The IPBES Global Assessment estimated that 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. It also documents how human actions have changed many aspects of nature and its contributions to people; but species threatened with extinction resonate with the media and the public in ways that degradation of habitats and alteration of rates of ecosystem processes perhaps don’t, so the figure was widely reported.
IPBES is the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, an independent intergovernmental body that was established in 2012 to strenthen links between science and policy to support conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being, and sustainable development
Because only the Summary for Policymakers has so far been made available, it wasn’t clear where the figure of 1 million threatened species came from. Some journalists and researchers asked me, so I explained it to them, and will explain it again here. Some other writers, often with a long history of commenting critically on reports highlighting environmental concerns, instead railed against the Global Assessment in general and the figure of 1 million threatened species in particular. Given that these writers often advance empty or bogus arguments, I thought it would be also be useful to explain why these arguments are wrong.
I have therefore written this blog post in the form of thirteen questions and answers.
Continue reading “A million threatened species? Thirteen questions and answers”
The WHO global partners meeting in Geneva and launch of the 4th WHO NTD report | Sustainability
Starting the Neglected Tropical Disease summit in Geneva this week gone, the World Health Organisation brought together its global partners for a meeting to launch the 4th WHO report on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). As an important player in the global effort to control and eliminate these debilitating diseases, the Museum has been following the meeting closely.
The Museum has had a long history of researching NTDs, particularly those caused by worm infections and/or transmitted by insects. Today the Museum hosts DeWorm3, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major project researching the control and elimination of soil-transmitted helminths, aka intestinal worms. Intestinal worms are the most common of NTDs. DeWorm3 and Museum NTD experts travelled to Geneva for the NTD summit and report on the meeting.
Continue reading “The WHO global partners meeting in Geneva and launch of the 4th WHO NTD report | Sustainability”
Bioleaching cobalt from sulphide ores | COG3 Consortium
Recently, members of the Acidophile Research Team at Bangor University carried out some bioleaching experiments which aimed to leach cobalt from the Captain sulfide ore (from New Brunswick, Canada). Sarah Smith, a geomicrobiologist at Bangor University and one of the collaborators in the COG3 project reports.
The aim was to compare the bioleaching rates of metals (primarily cobalt) from the ore at two different temperatures. To do this, two different mixed cultures were grown up (one containing bacteria that are happy at about 30°C, and another with bugs that prefer slightly higher temperatures). The cultures were then added to the bioreactors, along with the ore, and the bugs were left to work their magic!
Continue reading “Bioleaching cobalt from sulphide ores | COG3 Consortium”
DeWorm3: interview on disease elimination with Peter Jourdan│Sustainabilty
by Dr Peter Jourdan, Director of Science and Policy, DeWorm3, NHM
This recent interview outlines the plans and vision for DeWorm3, a major Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Museum project that is conducting rigorous research to provide evidence for the next generation of policies to guide the global control and elimination of infection by soil-transmitted helminths (STH).
Watch the interview on YouTube.
STH are intestinal worms that cause a major neglected tropical disease (NTD) affecting millions of people worldwide in less-developed countries, especially in communities with poor access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities. This disease has major impacts on quality of life, ability to work and economic development. Continue reading “DeWorm3: interview on disease elimination with Peter Jourdan│Sustainabilty”