The time is now: ecology biodiversity and extinction.

This is a Biology Subject Spotlight with Dr Charlie Outhwaite from UCL. An interactive, cinematic course taster experience to allow students to gain insights into what it's like to study Biology.

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In this hard-hitting and captivating Subject Spotlight, Dr Charlie Outhwaite presents: The time is now: ecology, biodiversity and extinction, a topical and pertinent look at the state of our world right now, and how we are at a critical point in time in terms of our declining environment. She begins by explaining what ecology is, thinks about the role of an ecologist in society, and outlines the fact that this is a critical turning point for our planet. Charlie goes on to explain what biodiversity is, discusses some of the issues affecting biodiversity in the modern age, and the impact on humans as this biodiversity is lost. In episode 3, she thinks about day-to-day ecology, discusses the impact of the declining environment on species and communities, and describes important forms of activism and pivotal figures campaigning for change. Finally, Charlie introduces some brilliant digital ecology tools to help us all become citizen scientists, presents an interesting activity whilst using one of these tools, and rounds up the Spotlight with some powerful feedback. 

About UCL

UCL is located right in the heart of central London and prides itself on being a global hub of education in the capital, attracting students from over 150 countries. UCL has a lot to offer with 440 undergraduate programmes in which integration of research and teaching is prioritised. UCL has a unique history, founded in 1826 inspired by the ethos of Jeremy Bentham's belief in opening up education for the many and not to discriminate on who can receive a higher education. UCL strives to continue the tradition of being change-makers today, remaining committed to accessibility and using research to tackle real-world problems.

Meet the academics

Dr Charlie Outhwaite

Dr Charlie Outhwaite is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Biodiversity & Environment Research, part of the department of Genetics, Evolution & Environment at UCL. Charlie is currently working on the NERC funded GLiTRS project, which aims to bring together different forms of data on insect biodiversity change in order to determine the global state of insect communities. This project is a large collaboration via a NERC highlight topic grant led by Dr Nick Isaac at UKCEH. She was involved with the design and planning of this project, and is supported by it for a 3-year postdoc position. Charlie is interested in what drives insect biodiversity change and has been looking at the interactions between land use, use intensity and climate change and their impact on insect biodiversity. Projects and collaborations are still ongoing from her previous project, the BIOTA project, which explores the interactions and trade-offs between biodiversity, agriculture and trade. In this project Charlie has been looking at how characteristics of the surrounding landscape, including landscape composition and complexity, influence local biodiversity within cropland systems. 

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