WildCRU’s Luca Chiaverini’s blog post for Institute of Population Ageing

November 26, 2020

In the context of his collaboration with The Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, WildCRU’s DPhil student Luca has written a blog post in which he discussed a talk he recently attended, held by Professor Ruth DeFries. In the talk, entitled “Navigating the Anthropocene – What Would Nature Do?”, Professor DeFries explored four strategies from natural systems, and discussed how these could be of help to design better and more resilient societies in our current uncertain times.

Luca writes: “I recently attended a lecture by Professor Ruth DeFries, who is professor of ecology and sustainable development at Columbia University. The lecture has been recorded by the Oxford organisers, and it is available at this link. Professor DeFries is interested in the way that demand for food and other goods is changing land use, with a special focus on tropical areas.

The lecture explored some of the concepts illustrated in her forthcoming book “What would Nature do? – A guide for our uncertain times”. Her ideas made me think that this would be a very good topic for a blog post for the Institute of Population Ageing, as they position themselves at the junction between ecologic and social disciplines, highlighting the urgency and the importance for interdisciplinary approaches to this topic. She uses some brilliant and ingenious examples to link processes and adaptive strategies found in the natural world to current social challenges arising out of human population growth, continuous urban development and the increasing interconnectedness of people and goods. The idea that we might be able to learn from Nature and apply its principles to prevent or mitigate the consequences of the uncertainty that characterise our changing human world is a fascinating one.”

Continue to read Luca’s blog post here.