Land at the Crossroads: an Ecological History of Europe.
Tim Flannery, Segré Foundation Distinguished Visiting ProfessorCIES Geneva Dialogue
The first distinctively European organisms evolved around 100 million years ago, on the tropical island archipelago that was destined to become Europe. Some of those first European organisms survive today. For most of its history, Europe has lain at the intersection of Asia, Africa and North America - together comprising around two thirds of the world's landmass. It has played a crucial role in the evolution of many groups, including our own lineage, the hominids. The Europeans arose around 38,000 years ago, when a group of humans from Africa began to hybridise with Neanderthals. The hybrid population had unusual characteristics, and quickly displaced the Neanderthals in Europe.
Subsequently, Europe has experienced many waves of human migration, each one of which has profoundly affected the land and its biodiversity. Today some Europeans are trying to re-establish a wild Europe. But where should they look to for inspiration?
Drawing on the new upcoming book of Professor Tim Flannery, this public lecture will offer some surprising answers to this question.
Acclaimed Australian scientist, explorer and conservationist Tim Flannery is the Graduate Institute as a Fondation Segré Distinguished Visiting Professor within the Centre for International Environmental Studies. Professor Flannery, who is a Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne, was previously Chief Commissioner of the Climate Commission.
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