Sir Julian Huxley Lecture 2019
In association with The Systematics Association
Image © Peter Ashton

Renowned naturalist, forest botanist and one of the founders of tropical ecology, Peter Ashton, recounts how ten years spent living in Borneo opened the opportunity to master a complex flora and to specialise in the family of dominant canopy emergent trees, the Dipterocarpaceae, to interpret its floristic ecology and history. The results have spanned 60 years and have significantly impacted our current understanding of forest structure and ecology in the tropical Asian region. The resulting body of research covers a broad range of fields including systematics, natural history, interactions with other organisms, evolutionary history, species diversity, biogeography and past and present human impact. This talk will explore hypotheses explaining patterns of species diversity in the Asian tropical forests and subsequent to the events of the past 60 years, how have events constrained continuing research, and what must our priorities be for ensuring an Anthropocene future for this biome, its inhabitants and its students?

Peter Ashton FLS is the Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry at Harvard University and is also an Honorary Research Associate at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He is the former director of The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.
Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances the date of this lecture has now changed from the 16th of October to the 14th of November. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
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