New research assesses human impacts on our ocean

University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Assistant Professor of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology Douglas McCauley will discuss new research on how human activities may be impacting the resilience of our oceans, during the April From Shore to Sea lecture.

McCauley and his colleagues have compiled an unprecedented collection of data, including global comparisons of marine and terrestrial animal extinctions, as part of a study to better identify sources of harm to marine ecosystems, as well as best practices to protect them.

To date, scientific research into animal extinctions has largely been concentrated on terrestrial species, while studies of animal loss in the oceans have often been overlooked. McCauley has found that current marine extinction rates are surprisingly similar to the rates of land-based extinctions prior to the Industrial Revolution. After this period, terrestrial animal loss increased by a large margin.

McCauley is concerned that a similar pattern of increased animal loss may occur in the ocean as a result of changing patterns of use and increased industry. His work is focused on discovering proactive methods to protect the health and resilience of marine species, including responsible fisheries management, the creation of marine protected areas, and the development of marine spatial management plans.

The talk will be held on Thursday, April 13. The From Shore to Sea lecture series is sponsored by Channel Islands National Park to further the understanding of current research on the Channel Islands and surrounding marine waters. The 2017 lecture series takes place at 7:00 pm on the second Thursday of each month, January through December, at the Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitor Center in Ventura Harbor. The programs are free and open to the public.

This lecture can also be viewed live online, at: Shore to Sea lecture series.

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