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Chair: Sir John Lawton CBE FRS

Speakers: Professor Georgina Mace FRS, Dr Jonathan Baillie, Professor Hugh Possingham and Dr Mark Avery

Conserving species is becoming more urgent as the pressures on natural areas intensify. There are increasing numbers of threatened species facing different problems in habitats all over the world. Unfortunately, there are many more problems than can be solved with the limited resources available to conservation bodies. So how do conservation biologists go about choosing what to focus on first, or where to invest most conservation funding?

There are both scientific and personal answers to this question. Scientifically-based methods can help to optimally allocate resources given a clearly stated desired endpoint or goal. But there are several alternative kinds of possible goals for species conservation that are not necessarily convergent. This meeting will bring together conservation science professionals from a range of organizations to debate the issues and see if there can be a shared species conservation science.

Proceedings were be chaired by Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS, currently Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, and between 1999 and 2005 was Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council. He trained as a zoologist in Durham, and has held posts at Oxford, York and Imperial College.

Other panel members include:

Professor Georgina Mace FRS is currently the Director of the NERC Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College London where she is also professor of Conservation Science. Previously she was Director of Science at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. Her research interests focus on species extinction, the assessment of biodiversity change, biodiversity indicators and the consequences of biodiversity loss for people and environmental processes generally.

Dr Jonathan Baillie is Director of Conservation Programmes at the Zoological Society of London where he oversees field projects in over 50 countries worldwide. Jonathan has played a leading role in the development of global biodiversity indicators including the IUCN Sampled Red List Index, WWF Living Planet Index and WCS/ZSL Wildlife Picture Index.

Dr Mark Avery is the Conservation Director of the RSPB - a conservation charity with more than a million members - and is responsible for the Society's conservation policy and practice.

Profressor Hugh Possingham is Head of the Ecology Centre at the University of Queensland, Australia. He sits on 16 different advisory boards for government and non-government groups and is actively involved in policy. Work from his lab helped stop land clearing in Queensland and New South Wales securing 1 billion tones of CO2.