Coral reefs in a post-Paris world: Science, politics and ethics – Biologisk Institut - Københavns Universitet

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Coral reefs in a post-Paris world: Science, politics and ethics

Speaker: Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

Host: Professor Michael Kühl, Marine Biology Section, BIO-UCPH

Coral reefs are in rapid decline potentially placing millions of people at risk. While local factors have been important in this decline, climate change is now the number one threat.  In the last two years alone, the Great Barrier Reef is lost nearly 50% of its rebuilding corals.  These changes are unprecedented and beg the question, what can we do? This seminar will explore the recent science, politics and ethics behind this massive global issue.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg heads a large research laboratory ( that focuses on how global warming and ocean acidification are affecting and will affect coral reefs. He has worked extensively with the media, believing that scientists need to extend the impact of their science using the full set of communication options. He has published works that include over 200 refereed publications and book chapters and is one of the most cited authors within the peer-reviewed literature on climate change and its impacts on natural ecosystems. 

His interests in climate change has led to significant roles within the IPCC (coordinating lead author Chapter 30, “The Ocean”) and other international organisations in his role as Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and as Coordinator for the Australasian Centre for Excellence and Chair of the Bleaching Working Group within the World Bank-Global Environment Facility Coral Reef Targeted Research Program.

Professor Hoegh-Guldberg has held academic positions at UCLA, Stanford University, The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland, and is a member of the Australian Climate Group; the Royal Society (London) Marine Advisory Network; and the Board of Editing Reviewers at Science Magazine. In 1999 he was awarded the Eureka Prize for his scientific research. He was the Queensland Premier's Fellow from 2008-2013.  In 2012, he was awarded a Thomson Reuters Citation Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research and was awarded an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship. He was the recipient of the Prince Albert II of Monaco's Climate Change Award (2014). He is also the Chief Scientist for the XL Catlin Seaview Survey.