Launch of YESI at major international meeting 'Global Change and Biosphere Interactions'

News | Posted on Thursday 10 January 2013

To mark the launch of YESI, the Centenary of the British Ecological Society (BES) and as part of celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the University of York, we are jointly hosting a major international meeting ‘Global Change and Biosphere Interactions’ on 8-9 April this year, here at the University of York.

University of York, 8-9 April 2013

Cross disciplinary conference: Global Change and Biosphere Interactions

 Focused on sustainable solutions to global environmental change, the conference will feature talks from major international leaders covering current advances in our understanding of the past, present and future consequences of human impacts on the earth system.

 Register online now at


Day 1 – Monday 8th April

9am            Registration, coffee and pastries

10.40am    Welcome and introduction to the theme of the conference and to YESI by Prof Sue Hartley, Director of YESI


11am - Plenary talks

  • The long-term perspective: the long-term carbon cycle and Earth's sensitivity to CO2 change – Prof Mark Pagani, Yale University
  • Environmental change - what can we learn from archaeology? – Prof Matthew Collins, BioArch, University of York
  • Tipping points in the response of the biosphere to climate change: how can we predict the unpredictable? – Prof Peter Cox, University of Exeter

12.30pm - Lunch

1.30pm - Plenary talks

  • Soil-plant interactions and greenhouse gas emissions – Prof Phil Ineson, University of York
  • Air pollutants - city streets to global impacts – Prof Ally Lewis, University of York
  • Impacts of global population change – Prof Sarah Harper, University of Oxford

3.30pm - Tea/coffee break

4pm - Discussion session:  What are we doing to the planet, how quickly and how much does it matter?  Chaired by Prof Chris Thomas FRS

5pm - Networking and poster session

6pm - Public lecture by Prof Georgina Mace FRS, CBE: “A Planet and its people under pressure"

7pm - Wine reception and welcome hosted by Vice Chancellor of the University, followed by unveiling of plaque celebrating the launch of YESI

Day 2 – Tuesday 9th April


9am - Plenary talks

  • Knowledge and innovation for sustainability: local and global – Dr Adrian Ely, STEPS Centre, University of Sussex
  • Making crops more resilient to environmental change – Prof Ian Graham, CNAP, University of York
  • Conservation strategies for adaptation of biodiversity to global change – Prof Jane Hill, University of York

10.30am - Tea/coffee break

11am - Plenary talks

  • Protecting ecosystem services in the face of global change – Prof Dave Raffaelli, University of York
  • ‘A safe operating space for humanity’: Do people’s beliefs need to change?  – Prof Mike Hulme, University of East Anglia
  • The role of scientific expertise in policy formulation – Prof Susan Owens FBA, University of Cambridge

12.30pm - Lunch

1.30pm - Discussion session:  What are the barriers to mitigating and adapting to global change and what new research might deliver sustainable solutions? Chaired by Prof Sir John Lawton FRS

2.30pm - The importance of research in responding to global change: “50 years of environmental research at York” -  Prof Alastair Fitter FRS

2.45pm - Keynote lecture  on global sustainability by Prof Johan Rockström, Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre: “Planetary boundaries and how they help humanity understand and address global environmental threats”

3.45pm – Tea, Coffee and Depart (optional tour of “Skygas”, an automated facility for measuring greenhouse gas emissions from complex landscapes)