Professor Gilles Bœuf, from College de France, will be visiting India in February and March 2015!

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Professor Gilles BOEUF holds the annual Chair in “Sustainable Development – Environment, Energy and Society” at Collège de Francefor 2013-2014. He is specialized in environmental physiology and biodiversity. He has works on salmonid fish smoltification and migration, and has studied fish development, growth and adaptation mechanisms through experimental physiology and endocrinology approaches. He has contributed to the scientific community with more than 400 publications, book chapters, communications to National and International Conferences. Among other awards, Pr. Boeuf is knight of the French National Order of Merit, and he is also National adviser Biodiversity to the French Government. He teaches in several Universities, mainly at theUniversité Pierre & Marie Curie, and is the President of the National Natural History Museum in Paris since 2009.

 

In the framework of the College de France Lecture Series in India (college-de-france-lecture-series), Professor Boeuf will be visiting the south of India from 23rd February to 9th March. The titles and details of the conferences he will be giving can be found below. Please note that those conferences are FREE and OPEN TO ALL.

 

“Ocean, Biodiversity and Resources”

Indian Institute of Sciences, BANGALORE

CES Seminar Room (third floor), Biological Sciences Building

C.V. Raman Avenue

Monday 23rd February 2015 at 4.00 pm

“Biodiversity & Global Warming”

Alliance Française BANGALORE

108,Thimmaiah Road, Vasant Nagar

Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 7.00 pm

“Ocean, Biodiversity and Resources”

Institute for Ocean Management,

Koodal Hall I Anna University, CHENNAI

Monday 2nd March 2015 at 10:30 am

“Ocean, Biodiversity and Resources”

PONDICHERRY University

Friday 6th March 2015 at 3.00 pm

“Biodiversity & Global Warming”

Alliance Française PONDICHERRY

No. 58, Suffren Street, White Town

Friday 6th March 2015 at 7.00 pm

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Collège de France, Paris, is committed to fundamental research and it teaches “knowledge in the making” in every field of literature, science and arts.Presently chaired by Serge Haroche, French Nobel Prize 2012 in Physics, the 500 years old French institution had Henry Bergson, Michel Foucault and Claude Lévi-Strauss among its professors.

 

 

AUF

The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie is our partner on this event.

ABSTRACTS OF THE LECTURES

Biodiversity and Global Warming

Biodiversity was born in the ocean a little less than 4 Billion years ago, and has then evolved in a constantly changing world. Life emerged from the ocean some 460 Million years ago in several places and under several forms, before starting to conquest lands and continents. It had to face many difficulties, as geologists and paleontologists have shown that about 60 extinction crisis occurred in the last 600 Million years. Five of those crises are considered as major, and for each of them different reasons can be highlighted, eg. intense volcanism, emissions of gigantic quantities of gases, dust and lavas, variations of the ocean acidity, change of temperatures, changes in oxygen contents in both sea and air, continent movements, impact of huge meteorites. Today, some scientists talk about a sixth extinction crisis as far as the present situation of biodiversity is concerned, mainly caused by human activities. Biodiversity is very affected by destruction and pollution of the natural environment, overexploitation of natural resources, anarchic dissemination of living species and climate change. We will insist on this last aspect, and have a close look at the drastic acceleration of all those changes on our planet and at our capacity to react to those changes. The following question will also be raised: do our ecosystems, both continental and marine, have the capacities of resistance and resilience they really need?

 

Ocean, Biodiversity and Resources

The ocean is the largest living space in the world and covers at present 70.8% of the surface of the Earth, but it really should be thought rather in terms of volume – around 1,370 million km3. Biodiversity cannot be likened to a simple list of species that inhabit a particular ecosystem, it is considerably more than a catalog or inventory, and in fact includes the entire set of relationships between living beings among themselves and with their environment. Biodiversity comes from pre-biotic chemistry, built upon earlier geo-diversity, and became diversified in the ancestral ocean, around 3.9 billion years ago Then an exceptional event occurred in this ancient ocean: the emergence of sexuality – first in prokaryotes, later in eukaryotes. This proved vital for the explosion of biodiversity. The physical consequences of osmotic flux (water and electrolytes) in the marine environment led living organisms to different strategies. The recognized species diversity in the ocean does not exceed 13% of all living species currently described – less than 250,000. This is very little, and may be explained for two reasons. The first is that our knowledge, especially for deep zones and for microorganisms, various bacteria and protists is still only very partial, so we significantly underestimate oceanic diversity. Fortunately new techniques, such as coupling between flow cytometry and molecular probes, are allowing us to discover more. The second reason is that marine ecosystems and species living in a continuous medium, through the dispersal of gametes and larval stages, are less predisposed to strict endemism than in terrestrial habitats: marine ecological niches offshore do not approach the richness of land niches – much more fragmented and encouraging greater speciation. In this lecture, it will be showed how the marine environment has played a key role in the history of life, and how the ocean today still has a vital role in the evolution of life and climate.

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