Saving Tropical Forests Through International Research Collaboration -Dr Peter Beck and Dr Michael Wasserman

Feb 12, 2021 | earth and environment

About this episode

Tropical forests are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, but extensive deforestation has pushed many species to the brink of extinction. Conservation efforts have been limited by political and socioeconomic backgrounds of each region. By integrating ecological and social research techniques, Dr Peter Beck at St Edward’s University, Dr Michael Wasserman of Indiana University and their colleagues examine the effectiveness of tropical forest conservation strategies and the factors that encourage people to conserve their forests. Their extensive project also provides international research experience to STEM students from underrepresented backgrounds, and helps foster scientific and cultural exchange between countries.

 

 

 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International LicenseCreative Commons License

What does this mean?

Share: You can copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format

Adapt: You can change, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially.

Credit: You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.

Related episodes

Dr Robert Bryant – Dr Langdon Martin | Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Cattle Farming with Leftover Brewer’s Yeast

Dr Robert Bryant – Dr Langdon Martin | Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Cattle Farming with Leftover Brewer’s Yeast

Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases that contributes to the global climate crisis. As this gas is produced in the digestive systems of cattle, methane represents one of the greatest problems faced by the farming industry. Dr Robert Bryant, Dr Langdon Martin and their team at Warren Wilson College, North Carolina, propose an innovative feed supplement for cattle that helps to significantly reduce methane emissions: waste yeast from craft breweries. If used on a large scale, this new supplement could significantly decrease emissions associated with cattle farming, while also creating a new use for a waste product of the craft beer industry.

Dr Anthony Swemmer – Exploring How Trees in Savannas Respond to Drought

Dr Anthony Swemmer – Exploring How Trees in Savannas Respond to Drought

Savannas are characterised by the co-existence of two very different types of plants – trees and grasses. They may be open, with large swathes of grass and an occasional tree dotting the landscape, or closed with a near complete cover of trees and a sparse grass layer beneath. In drier parts of the world, drought may play an important role in determining the balance between the trees and grasses in savannas. Extreme droughts, which are likely to become more common with climate change, could permanently shift a closed savanna to an open one. Such changes would have significant consequences for the functioning of these ecosystems and the animals they support. Dr Anthony Swemmer of the South African Environmental Observation Network explored the impact of an unusually severe drought on trees in South Africa. His team’s research shows that the response of trees to drought depends on a suite of local factors.

Dr Alejandro Estrada and Dr Paul A. Garber | The Importance of Indigenous Peoples in Safeguarding Earth’s Primates

Dr Alejandro Estrada and Dr Paul A. Garber | The Importance of Indigenous Peoples in Safeguarding Earth’s Primates

Non-human primates play crucial roles in sustaining natural ecosystems worldwide. However, approximately 68% of primate species are now at risk of extinction, mainly due to agriculture and the depletion of natural resources. Dr Alejandro Estrada at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Dr Paul A. Garber at the University of Illinois-Urbana, and a group of scientists from various parts of the world recently carried out a study to better understand the role that Indigenous Peoples play in the conservation of threatened primates.

Professor Olubukola Oluranti Babalola | Improving The Production of Cowpea, a Sustainable Superfood

Professor Olubukola Oluranti Babalola | Improving The Production of Cowpea, a Sustainable Superfood

Cowpea is an extremely versatile food crop. Packed with high-quality protein, it has become a staple legume in many households in Africa, where it is indigenous. Cowpea also cycles nutrients back into the soil, supporting sustainable farming and healthy ecological networks. However, the production of this sustainable crop faces many hurdles, including drought, pesticide use, and declining soil quality. In a recent review, Professor Olubukola Oluranti Babalola of North-West University in South Africa outlines the issues facing cowpea production and highlights potential solutions.

Increase the impact of your research

• Good science communication helps people make informed decisions and motivates them to take appropriate and affirmative action.
• Good science communication encourages everyday people to be scientifically literate so that they can analyse the integrity and legitimacy of information.
• Good science communication encourages people into STEM-related fields of study and employment.
• Good public science communication fosters a community around research that includes both members of the public, policymakers and scientists.
• In a recent survey, 75% of people suggested they would prefer to listen to an interesting story than read it.

Step 1 Upload your science paper

Step 2 SciPod script written

Step 3 Voice audio recorded

Step 4 SciPod published