San Francisco, California, USA
London, United Kingdom
Humans have had an extraordinary impact on the life of the planet. Species extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times the background rate, mostly from habitat loss and over-exploitation. But rapidly accelerating climatic change due to human activities poses a new, and perhaps the greatest threat of all. Many scientists believe we are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event in the Earth's history, and that the impacts on biodiversity, our life support system, will accelerate over the next century. How did things get so bad? Do we still have a chance to save the earth? What can we all do?
Lesley Hughes’ research focuses on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. At Macquarie University she is an ecologist in the Department of Biological Sciences and Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Science, Co-director of the Climate Futures Research Centre, and Director of the Biodiversity Node of the NSW Climate Adaptation Hub. She has represented Australia in a number of international bodies associated with climate change. She is a former Commissioner on the federal Climate Commission, and former Chair of the NSW Scientific Committee. She is currently a member of Climate Scientists Australia, the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, and the Board of WWF Australia, and is the Chair of the Tasmanian Climate Action Council and a Councillor on the Climate Council of Australia.