Keynotes

We are pleased to announce that following keynote speakers have accepted to give a talk:

  • Sunday 12 May: Roy Dennis
  • Monday 13 May: Michael Braungart
  • Tuesday 14 May: Colin Moffat
  • Wednesday 15 May: Laurence Mee

Sunday 12 May, 18:00

Roy Dennis
Scotland’s Nature and Natural Areas

My talk will explore the state of Scotland’s wildlife, examining the problems caused by man and his activities, special recovery projects on habitats and species such as sea eagle, red kite and beaver, and our hopes for the future. Your conference in Glasgow coincides with The Year of Natural Scotland 2013, a Scottish Government initiative which aims to inspire our people and our visitors to celebrate our country’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes, wildlife and biodiversity. The Scottish coast and islands are home to large and important seabird colonies, as well as to populations of bottle-nosed dolphins and grey and common seals. Scotland has large areas of peatlands, heather moors and mountains which support a range of distinctive birds and animals, including red grouse, red deer and birds of prey. There are remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest of Scots pine with its associated species such as capercaillie, which has suffered massive declines in recent decades, as have many farmland birds.  Our coastal estuaries and freshwaters are important for both breeding and wintering waders and wildfowl. My talk aims to give you an exciting and useful introduction to the nature of Scotland.

Roy Dennis MBE is a field ornithologist and wildlife consultant, living in Moray, Scotland; he has worked in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland since 1959, most notably on the conservation of rare birds and the reintroduction of lost species, such as White-tailed Eagle and Red Kite. From 1970 to 1990, he was RSPB’s senior officer in the Northern Scotland. He directed Fair Isle Bird Observatory from 1963 to 1970; Chairman 1994 - 2010, and after the  completion of the prestigious new Bird Observatory became President of the Trust, so his knowledge of seabirds, migration and Scottish islands is extensive. Since 1991, he has been a wildlife consultant, and in 1996, set up the Highland Foundation for Wildlife.

He is a specialist in raptor conservation and reintroductions in the UK and abroad, having been involved with osprey, red kite, peregrine, golden eagle and sea eagle reintroduction projects, and his satellite tracking of migratory raptors and eagles has broken new ground and given great interest to the public via his map based websites. He has long been an advocate for restoring lost mammals to Scotland, particularly beaver and lynx. He was awarded a MBE for services to nature conservation in Scotland and in 2004 was voted the RSPB Golden Eagle Award winner for the person who had done most for nature conservation in Scotland in the last 100 years. He is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster. His latest book (2008) was ‘A Life of Ospreys’ and his TV documentaries include Eagle Owl and Saving our Seabirds, and a guest presenter with the BBC Springwatch & Autumnwatch.

Monday 13 May, 16:30–17:15

Michael Braungart
Cradle to Cradle Chemistry- a strategy for innovation and quality

Imagine a world, in which humans can actually be pleased about the benefits their consumption has on the environment. That is exactly the kind of world that the Cradle to Cradle® design concept opens up to all of us by being “eco-effective” instead of “eco-efficient”. Those two terms are often used interchangeably. There is, however, a significant difference between them. Rather than minimizing the material flows, eco-effectivity proposes the idea of transforming products and their respective material flows so that a workable relationship between ecological systems and economic growth is made possible. The aim here then is not to reduce or delay the cradle to grave material flow but rather to create metabolisms that allow for methods of production that are true to nature and in which materials are used over and over again. The Cradle to Cradle®-design seeks to superimpose the principle of quality before quantity onto industrial systems. Materials and material flows are then designed in such a manner so as to be beneficial in terms of the regeneration of their biological and technological sources. Such an approach frees us from our current responsibility and duty to reduce or slow down any negative environmental effects our behavior has.  

Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart is founder and scientific CEO of “EPEA GmbH” and of the “Hamburger Umweltinstitut” (HUI). He is also co-founder and scientific head of “McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry” (MBDC) in Charlottesville, Virginia (USA). These institutes share values embracing intelligent, aesthetic and eco-effective Design.

Braungart studied chemistry and process engineering, amongst others in Konstanz and Darmstadt (Germany). In the 1980s he dedicated his work to the environmental organization Greenpeace. From 1982 on he was active in establishing its chemistry department, which he took over in 1985. In the same year he received his Ph.D. from the University of Hannover’s chemistry department. He founded EPEA in 1987.

Since then he has been involved with research and consultancy for eco-effective Products – i.e. products and production processes that are designed for closed loops and do not harm man or nature, but rather contribute to their well-being.

Tuesday 14 May, 16:30–17:15

Colin Moffat
Making that all important assessment and communicating our message
 

As we look to build a better future through environmental protection there is a clear need to conduct the most relevant research and monitoring such that appropriate assessments can be made not just in terms of e.g. concentrations of contaminants but with respect to their effects on biota.  Scottish marine waters are amongst the most productive in the world and are an important source of food as well as providing leisure and tourism opportunities – however, in our use of the seas and through wider industrial development we have introduced pollutants, litter and non-indigenous species and have impacted our species and habitats.  Key to invoking change is the provision of a sound evidence base presented in a way that is understandable to scientists, politicians and the wider public.  Such assessments require appropriate targets, assessment criteria and quality assurance as well as  being of a relevant geographic  scale with the required temporal time series so as to provide identifiable trends.  With Europe striving to achieve Good Environmental Status for all its marine waters by 2020 such assessments are fundamental – are we making the right assessments and are we able to communicate our message so as to optimise our management of European seas and build a better future?

Colin is Head of Science at Marine Scotland and Honorary Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.  Initially studying chemistry, Colin completed a PhD in heparin biochemistry, including links to tumour angiogenesis, before joining Torry Research Station where he investigated the structure of fish lipids and their nutritional benefits.  He went on to investigate contaminants in fish, farm animals and food products before moving to the Marine Laboratory where he investigated the effects of contaminants on marine animals.  Over the last 10 years, Colin has maintained a strong scientific interest, both in ecotoxicology and the use of fatty acids to assess the trophic structure of marine animals.  He has also taken on an increasing advisory role, specialising in assessment methodology.  Between 2005 and 2010, Colin chaired the OSPAR Environmental Assessment and Monitoring Committee.  This included leading the process to produce, in 2010, a decadal assessment of the status of the North-East Atlantic.  Closer to home, Colin played a fundamental role in an assessment of UK seas (Charting Progress 2) and in the production of Scotland’s Marine Atlas which was published in 2011.

Wednesday 15 May, 16:30–17:15

Laurence Mee
Science and the adaptive management of Europe’s seas

The Ecosystem Approach underpins much of the new policy framework for the protection and sustainable use of Europe’s Seas, and Adaptive Management is a key process for achieving it. Much attention is focussed on developing indicators for ‘Good Environmental Status’ and it is easy to miss the wider scientific and social challenges, opportunities and pitfalls that this new approach presents. There is a gulf between public perception and scientific understanding for example and another between many policymakers and systems scientists. And we are still struggling to answer legitimate questions about cumulative impacts, resilience, thresholds and non-linearities. What kind of science do we need to help shape human values and goals and to facilitate their achievement? How can we learn from current large-scale experiments and avoid previous mistakes? Is adaptive management a viable way forward and what will future seas and oceans look like?

Prof Laurence Mee directs SAMS, Scotland’s leading Marine Institute and an Associate Institute of the UN University. He studies coupled marine social ecological systems and their sustainable management. Following a PhD in Chemical Oceanography, Laurence spent 10 years at UNAM Mexico followed by an 11 year career in the United Nations, initially leading the Marine Environment Studies Lab of IAEA, Monaco conducting pollution assessments worldwide. He founded and led the $110M Istanbul-based GEF Black Sea Environment Programme. Laurence was the UK’s first Professor of Marine and Coastal Policy and Director of the Marine Institute, Plymouth University. He advised Parliament on marine research and the UK Marine Bill, is a non-exec member of the UK Marine Science Coordinating Committee and chairs the Marine Industry Liaison Group. He led the EU ‘European Lifestyles and Marine Ecosystems (ELME)’project and the 36-institute ‘Knowledge-based Management of Europe’s Seas (KnowSeas)’.