A million reasons to care: The biodiversity crisis in Canada

One million species around the world are at risk of extinction—many in the next few decades. British Columbia is home to more biodiversity than any other place in Canada. But from our caribou herds to southern resident killer whale pods and from our whitebark pines to Behr's Hairstreak butterflies, we're struggling to safeguard our natural heritage. Join world-class researchers, hosted by 2011 MacArthur Fellow Sarah Otto, as they outline the recent science and pinpoint conservation approaches that work. They’ll look at how BC and Canada can help lead the transformational change needed to preserve Earth's threatened biodiversity.

Tuesday, October 8th 2019
UBC Robson Square
800 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
[Theatre, C300]

Doors Open:   6:00 PM
Program:         6:30 PM
Reception:      7:30 PM

Admission: FREE

*Registration includes a complimentary beverage and a selection of tasty hors d'oeuvres during the reception.

Dress Code: Smart Casual



Dr. Sarah Otto, Professor, UBC Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology
UBC Biodiversity Centre

Sally Otto is an evolutionary geneticist whose motivating aim of research is to understand how evolutionary processes have generated the wondrous diversity of biological features observed in the natural world. Why is it that some species reproduce asexually, while most reproduce sexually? Why do some organisms have large genomes while closely related species have small ones? Why do some species choose to mate with very similar partners, while others avoid them? These are some of the fundamental questions that my research has aimed to resolve, using a combination of mathematical theory, statistical inference, and evolutionary experiments.

Sally holds a PhD from Stanford University, has served as founding member and Secretary of the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution, Vice President of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the European Society of Evolutionary Biology, Council member for the Society for the Study of Evolution and the American Genetic Association, and member of several editorial boards. Awards include a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a McDowell Award for Excellence in Research (UBC), a Steacie Fellowship (Natural Sciences and Research Council; Canada), and the Steacie Prize (National Research Council, Canada).


Dr Cole Burton, Assistant Professor, UBC Faculty of Forestry.
Canada Research Chair (Tier 2) in Terrestrial Mammal Conservation.

Cole Burton is a conservation biologist and wildlife ecologist with broad interests in using science to inform biodiversity conservation, environmental management, and human-wildlife coexistence. His recent work has focused primarily on the ecology, management and monitoring of terrestrial mammal communities in the transforming landscapes of western Canada, and he maintain diverse research interests in ecological methodology, carnivore conservation, and human-wildlife relations.

Cole has worked collaboratively with governments, industries, ENGOs, and academics in Canada and around the world. He has an M.Sc. in Zoology from UBC and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley. Cole’s research is motivated by the challenge of human-wildlife coexistence on a crowded planet and he specializes in studying terrestrial mammal responses to changing environments using innovative methods such as camera traps and hierarchical modelling.  In 2017 he started the Wildlife Coexistence Lab (WildCo) at UBC where research is focused on human-wildlife coexistence across multiple species and scales, with a particular emphasis on large-bodied terrestrial mammals.


Dr. Jeannette Whitton, Associate Professor, UBC Faculty of Science, Department of Botany
Director, UBC Herbarium

Jeannette Whitton is a plant evolutionary biologist with interests that span population genetics, phylogenetics and speciation. Her lab works to understand the ecological and evolutionary forces that produce and maintain biodiversity - a major focus is the study of sexual-asexual systems in the sunflower family, and the forces that promote the origins and spread of asexual populations and the persistence of their sexual progenitors. Jeannette holds a PhD from the University of Connecticut. 



This event is now sold out.  A waitlist will be available at the door (sign up is first come, first serve) however there is no guarantee that there will be a seat available.
Seats remain reserved until 20min have passed from the start-time of the presentation (in case preregistered guests are running late).  If there are no-shows, seats will be released according to who has signed up first on the waitlist.  

This event will be recorded (podcast) and will be uploaded here: https://www.alumni.ubc.ca/podcasts/

For additional questions or concerns please contact [email protected]
Thank you.