Edinburgh EdEN Network summer symposium

  • Event:  Edinburgh EdEN Network summer symposium
  • When:  Friday 3 July 2015
  • Time:  1 - 6.30 pm
  • Location:  Lecture theatre 1, Ashworth Laboratories, Kings Buildings, Edinburgh
  • Registration:  Attendance is free, but please register at https://docs.google.com/)
  • Contact:  Lynsey (lynsey.mcinnes@ed.ac.uk; School of Biological Sciences) & Aaron (athierry@staffmail.ed.ac.uk; School of Geological Sciences)

EdEN network will host a special summer symposium showcasing the work of ecologically-minded postdocs and early career fellows from across Edinburgh.  We will have speakers from biological and geological sciences, the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh and Heriot Watt University.

The guest speaker Dr. Joanna Boehnert, a designer and researcher with expertise in the visual communication of the environment and the founding director of EcoLabs (www.eco-labs.org).  She will give a talk on "The value of design for insights on the Natural Capital debate".

At the end of Joanna's talk there will be a cost-price happy hour in the Darwin Dance Hall (also in Ashworth Laboratories) from 5.30 to 6.30 pm.


  • The role of phenotypic plasticity in response to climate change in a red deer population – Hannah Froy
  • The effect of interspecific competition on the evolutionary response of photosynthetic algae to elevated CO2 – Diane Lawrence
  • Innate immunity as a structuring mechanism of parasite communities within and between within-host infection sites – Evelyn Rynkiewicz
  • Mapping changing tropical forest biomass from space:deforestation, degradation and woody encroachment – Ed Mitchard
  • Understanding local stakeholder's preferences for livelihoods and conservation: the case of conservancies in Kenya's Maasai Mara – Aidan Keane
  • Spatial conservation planning for South American forgotten forests – Danilo Neves
  • TBC – Lorna Street
  • Using RAD markers to quantify introgression between Geum species with different preferred habitats – Crispin Jordan
  • Presentation from head of Field Studies Council at Millport – Daniel Moncrieff

Our guest speaker

Design is a practice strategically placed to be pivotal in the transformation of unsustainable ways of living. John Berger famously said “Seeing comes before words”. Seeing is also a way new ideas emerge and thus design, especially communication design, can facilitate change on various scales. Designing new tools and strategies reminds us that the ways we think are also based on constructs. Environmental problems can be understood as a result of dysfunctional ways of perceiving, understanding and relating to the natural world. The theory of epistemological error (Bateson 1972) posits that the western premise of radical independence and its rational logic is in conflict with its context. Reductive, instrumental and fragmenting ways of knowing are responsible for the transformation of the life sustaining ecological and social context into isolated elements to be managed with reductive methods. The notion that by carving up the natural commons into individual ecosystem services will enable the conservation of natural capital is based on these erroneous epistemological assumptions. Nature cannot be effectively divided and submitted to the logic of the economic system because the ecological and the social orders are the context of the economic order.

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