Host: Marla Sokolowski
Ecology is a fast-developing and interdisciplinary science at the heart of the life sciences. Using cutting-edge technologies, while aiming to integrate different levels of biological organization from genome to ecosystem. I dare to state that ecology is the most important science of the 21st century. Why? Because ecological knowledge is needed more than ever, to answer the greatest question of our time: how to keep this planet liveable for all creatures on Earth, including the most invasive species ever named Homo sapiens. For more than 3.8 billion years nature has been functioning fine without us. But the strongly growing impact of man-nature interactions, in space as well as time, takes its toll. We are confronted with a global loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Ecologists study nature’s secrets in all its complexity. Building on that knowledge, it is the joint task of all life sciences to deliver solutions, to design ‘no-regret strategies’, to rethink the blueprint. This is what we need to turn our destructive economy into one of symbiosis between ecology and economy. But this transition asks for more than our scientific knowledge. We need an integral approach and I will plea that leadership, communication and especially positive advocacy will be vital to reach our goals of sustainability and biodiversity recovery.