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Conservation Research Institute


CCI Conservation Seminar, Wednesday 6th December 2023

Dr Matthew Adeleye,  Department of Geography, University of Cambridge

Revisiting the basis of conservation: a palaeoecological perspective

Global biodiversity has undergone significant changes over the past century. Despite ongoing efforts to mitigate the decline in biodiversity, many biodiverse ecosystems worldwide continue to experience substantial transformations, with habitat and species loss. These challenges are often exacerbated by a lack of appropriate baseline knowledge and misguided management approaches rooted in colonial legacies. This seminar will explore the important role of inclusive paleoecological studies in biodiversity conservation, using study sites in southeast Australia and western Africa as a case study. Pre- and post-colonial vegetation community changes will be discussed, as well as their implication for ecosystem/land management in the study areas.  

Matthew is currently an Assistant Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Cambridge, and was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Australian National University, Canberra. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Botany at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and Master's degree in Biology at the University of Victoria, Canada. His PhD was in archaeology and natural history at the Australian National University, specializing in landscape and conservation palaeoecology. Matthew's research centres on reconstructing past changes in ecosystems/landscapes, using fossil biological proxies in sedimentary archives, and he has worked in Pacific Canada, southeast Australia, and tropical western Africa. Matthew's work is currently focused on temperate Australia, investigating the impact of Indigenous people and past climatic changes on vegetation, wetlands, and fire regimes to inform land management in the area.

Note different location - Zoology Large Lecture Room, Department of Zoology

To view seminar online via Zoom, please register for a link via the form below:

Refreshments will follow in the DAB Common Room

Seminar image: Cape Pillar, Tasmania, Matthew Adeleye


Wednesday, 6 December, 2023 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event location: 
Zoology Large Lecture Room, Department of Zoology