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Graduate and postdoctoral fellowships with The Nature Conservancy

October 28, 2020

Sprout and morning mistDuring the past few years, we at the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes have had the pleasure of collaborating with The Nature Conservancy’s NatureNet Science Fellows Program and various ASU units to fund two postdoctoral research associates.

The NatureNet Science Fellows Program has continued to expand and again this year they have opened the fellowship to applicants from all accredited universities with the opportunity to receive research grants.

New this year, masters and PhD students are eligible to apply in addition to postdocs. Also, TNC is now fully funding these fellowships. The RFP closes on January 1, 2021.

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Knowledge to outcomes in biodiversity conservation, talk

October 27, 2020

Green young toucan standing on tree branchOn Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 6:00-7:00 p.m. PST, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber delivered a virtual talk titled “Knowledge to outcomes in global biodiversity conservation.” This talk was part of the New Mexico State University’s Climate Change Education Seminar Series.

About this talk

Global biodiversity loss is occurring at an unprecedented rate. Approximately 1 million species are threatened with extinction and many species have gone extinct in the past decade.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report offers an integrated overview of where the world stands in relation to key international goals, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

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IUCN Species Threat Abatement and Restoration Metric, talk

October 7, 2020

Butterflies standing and flying close to the groundOn Thursday, October 15, 2020, 10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and the Conservation Innovation Lab will host a talk by Newcastle University Research Associate Louise Mair, PhD. Mair will talk about the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Species Threat Abatement and Restoration (STAR) Metric.

STAR is a novel metric that quantifies the potential contribution that threat abatement and habitat restoration actions could make to reducing global species extinction risk. 

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Uniting Business LIVE, biodiversity conservation talk (rerun)

October 7, 2020

Toucan standing on branch facing the cameraOn Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 12:15-2:00 p.m. PDT, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber hosted a panel discussion on “Industry Partnerships for Biodiversity Outcomes: Measuring private sector contributions toward mitigating biodiversity loss.

This presentation was originally held on September 21 as part of the United Nations Global Compact’s Uniting Business LIVE (September 21-23), which marked the opening of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Due to technical difficulties during the UN conference and by popular demand we presented the session once again.

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IUCN Red List Training Center at ASU [talk]

October 1, 2020

Stingrays swimming in clear shallow waterOn October 6, 2020, 6:00-7:00 p.m., via Zoom, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Center Director and School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry and Marine Conservation Beth Polidoro will be delivering a talk to Nature at ASU students on the IUCN Red List training center at ASU.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species is the world’s global standard for measuring and monitoring species extinction risk. During this talk, students will learn about ASU’s formal partnership with the IUCN, including our Red List of Species and Red List of Ecosystems assessment activities, as well as our local and global Red List training initiatives.

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Ocean Hope Spots, discussion on marine protected areas

October 1, 2020

Sea turtle swims near corals and small fishAs part of the United Nations Global Compact’s Uniting Business LIVE (September 21-23), marine conservation experts joined a panel discussion titled "Ocean Hope Spots: A panel discussion on marine protected areas with leading experts"

The expert panel was composed of Sylvia Earle from Mission Blue;  ‘Aulani Wilhelm from Conservation International; and Lance Morgan from the Marine Conservation Institute.  

The panel discussion was followed by a conversation on innovative sustainability initiatives by Mark Kaplan from Envisible and an audience Q & A session facilitated by ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber.

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SOLS New Faculty Showcase, Danica Schaffer-Smith and Qiyun Zhu

September 24, 2020

The ASU School of Life Sciences will be hosting their Fall 2020 New Faculty Showcase on Friday, September 25, 2020, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. MT (5:00-6:00 p.m. EST).

Danica Schaffer-Smith headshot ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Assistant Research Professor Danica Schaffer-Smith will present: "Water resources management under extreme events: human and natural engineering solutions." Can infrastructure and floodplain management help to protect and sustain freshwater resources? Schaffer-Smith explores risks and opportunities with remote sensing, watershed modeling and stakeholder-based processes.

Qiyun Zhu headshotAssistant Professor Qiyun Zhu will present: "Untangling microbe-community-host interactions in light of evolution." Universal phylogenomic tree of microbial organisms enables an upgrade of shotgun metagenomics.

Join us to welcome SOLS new professors and learn more about their ongoing research projects. Register here.

Microplastic contaminants in American Samoa’s seafood and coastal environments

September 22, 2020

small pile of microplastics on a surfaceASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Associate Center Director of Biodiversity Valuation and Assessments Beth Polidoro will be delivering a webinar Thursday, September 24, 2020, 9:00-10:00 a.m. MT (12:00-1:00 p.m. EST) titled “A Risk Assessment of Microplastics and Associated Contaminants in Coastal Environments and Seafood in American Samoa.”


Solid waste disposal is a massive concern among Pacific Island nations. With severe limitations in land area, in combination with the lack of reuse or recycling options, many near-shore marine ecosystems across Oceania are severely impacted by locally derived marine debris, including plastics, microplastics and associated chemical contaminants.

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Uniting Business LIVE, biodiversity and ocean conservation talks

September 18, 2020

On Monday, September 21, 2020, 5:00-6:30 p.m. MST (8:00-9:30 p.m. ET), ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber will lead a group of panelists in a talk titled “Industry Partnerships for Biodiversity Outcomes: Measuring private sector contributions toward mitigating biodiversity loss.”

This talk is part of the United Nations Global Compact’s Uniting Business LIVE (September 21-23).

Global biodiversity loss is occurring at an unprecedented rate. The recent global assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services reports that approximately 1 million species are threatened with extinction.

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Growth in plastic waste could exceed mitigation efforts

September 17, 2020

Plastic trash floating underwaterToday, ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber and Associate Center Director of Biodiversity Valuation and Assessments Beth Polidoro published a Science article titled “Predicted growth in plastic waste exceeds efforts to mitigate plastic pollution.”

In addition, 18 researchers from other universities and NGOs co-authored this publication including ASU Conservation Innovation Lab graduate students Erin Murphy and Miranda Bernard.

This work emerged from the center’s Plastic Emissions Working Group supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center.

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ASU launches Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory to transform the world for a better future

ASU Now | September 9, 2020

Artist rendering of new ASU building ISTB7The Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory represents the next quantum leap in the evolution of Arizona State University as one of the world’s premier centers for studies of sustainability, Earth's life-supporting systems and the future of life on our planet.

In rethinking traditional approaches to academic work and public engagement — often too slow to ensure needed impact — the Global Futures Laboratory aims to engage with speed and urgency to address the existential threats facing the planet and global society. To complete these goals, the lab encompasses a new College of Global Futures, a major research institute called the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation, a solutions service called the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Service, and engagement initiatives.

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Hurricanes' pollution risks and conservation opportunities talk

September 4, 2020

Red flag on beach as hurricane approachesASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and The Nature Conservancy Assistant Research Professor Danica Schaffer-Smith, will present a talk on Monday, September 14, 2020, titled "Repeated hurricanes reveal risks and opportunities for social-ecological resilience to flooding and water quality problems," as part of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning Fall 2020 Colloquium Series.

The talk will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (MST) via Zoom. A conversation session with Schaffer-Smith will follow, from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Rethinking conservation approaches in the age of COVID

September 1, 2020

Back of man navigating canoe on narrow riverOn August 31, 2020, Mongabay released a new opinion piece written by Conservation Solutions Lab co-founder Michael Brown, along with other affiliated conservation researchers. The commentary piece is titled “Communities, conservation, and development in the age of COVID: Time for rethinking approaches.”

In this op-ed, the authors advocate for systemic, long-term solutions to existing biodiversity conservation and sustainable economic development challenges aggravated by the current pandemic.

“The existing systems and structures upon which conservation is based must evolve. Climate change, biodiversity conservation, and poverty elimination efforts have been further complicated by Covid-19, with the brunt of the pandemic borne most acutely by the poorest and most vulnerable.”

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ASU joins global research cohort to launch new center focused on society’s relationship with oceans

ASU Now | August 21, 2020

men on a beach holding a large net near a boat, walking toward the ocean Arizona State University, through its partnership with Conservation International, joins the University of Washington and the Nippon Foundation to announce the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center. The Ocean Nexus Center is an interdisciplinary research initiative that focuses on social equity, ocean sustainability and climate change. The Ocean Nexus Center will bring uncompromised, critical voices to policy and public conversations that will help enable research and policy engagement. The new center is supported by the Nippon Foundation’s investment of $32.5 million over 10 years.

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Postdoc job opening, coastal livelihoods and China's Maritime Silk Road

July 21, 2020

Large rock with small wide tree against coastal landscapeA new postdoc position is available, called "Challenges and opportunities for coastal livelihoods associated with China’s Maritime Silk Road investments."

The fisheries social science team at the University of Technology Sydney is recruiting for a postdoctoral research associate to conduct research as part of the Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center, a new interdisciplinary research group that studies changes, responses and solutions to societal issues that emerge in relationship with the oceans.

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Join #BackyardBiodiversity, social media campaign

July 15, 2020

Coyote standing on desert vegetation with his head turned towards the cameraBiodiversity is all around us! Even in urban settings, we can observe a variety of interesting species of plants and animals, each serving a unique role in our ecosystems.

To recognize and celebrate biodiversity close to home, the ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes invites you to submit cool photographs or short videos of species you observe in your surroundings as part of our #BackyardBiodiversity social media campaign.

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A business guide for biodiversity conservation

July 15, 2020

Keyboard with green key that reads "Conservation"A new publication co-authored by ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes founding director Leah Gerber illustrates a pathway for the private sector to assess their biodiversity performance and demonstrate responsible management practices.

The publication, titled “Bringing sustainability to life: A framework to guide biodiversity indicator development for business performance management,” was published in Business Strategy and the Environment.

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Protecting nature, our best shot against pandemics

July 15, 2020

Illustration of the Earth wearing a maskASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes Founding Director Leah Gerber recently published an op-ed in Mexican newspaper El Universal titled “Protecting biodiversity: our best shot to prevent the next pandemic.”

In this article, Gerber highlights the relationship between environmental health and human health. Habitat degradation by human activities, such as pollution, climate change, overexploitation, species removal and introduction, parallels the emergence of zoonotic (animal-to-human transmitted) viruses with pandemic causing potential.

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Lemurs and North Atlantic Right Whales, on the brink of extinction

July 10, 2020

Aerial view of North Atlantic Right Whale swimming along calfThe International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, an ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes partner, reported that almost a third of lemurs and North Atlantic Right Whales are now critically endangered.

The IUCN Red List categorizes species worldwide by their level of threat to extinction. Critically Endangered is the last level before the species becomes extinct.

The currently revised list contains more than 120,000 species assessed, with at least 32,000 of these species threatened with extinction. The updated list reveals the true scale of threat the primate and whale species are facing.

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