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Science News

May 19, 2011

Are we in the middle of a 6th mass extinction event or losing 100 species a day?
An entomology departmental seminar

2 June 2011

11:30 - 12:30

Neil Chalmers Seminar Room, DC2

Professor Nigel E. Stork
Head of Department of Resource Management and Geography,
Melbourne School of Land and Environment,
Melbourne University

Nigel Stork worked in the Entomology Department of the Museum from 1980 to 1995 before taking on the role of managing Australia's national research centre on tropical forest management. His experiences from working in the Museum and elsewhere have lead him to question some of the conclusions that have been made about the current state of biodiversity. Biologists have been predicting species losses of 100 a day for more than 30 years and many suggest that we are in the midst of a 6th mass extinction event. In this talk Prof Stork reviews just how much (or rather how little) we know about the size of global diversity and about species extinction rates. Since 'to the nearest approximation all species are insects' he will focus some of his attention on understanding invertebrate diversity and particularly that in tropical forests.




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