Sussex Sustainability Research Programme launch webinar series in response to pandemic’s impact on sustainability

How did human and environment interactions influence the emergence of COVID-19 and the resulting pandemic? What would human and environment interactions look like in a sustainable and just future?

These are just some of the questions that will be explored in the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) webinar “the pandemic and biodiversity: how we interact with the environment” on Tuesday 16 June, 11:00am BST via Zoom.

Following the success of SSRP’s online forum on the pandemic and sustainability, this virtual event will be the first in a series of webinars organised by SSRP that aims to continue the conversation about the current pandemic and related issues of sustainability.

The first event focusses on the impact of the pandemic on biodiversity, and subsequent events will discuss other urgent social and environmental issues, such as inequality. Register to attend or the 'pandemic and inequality' webinar on 30 June.

Although these webinars may be of particular interest to academic staff as well as students across the University of Sussex and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), members from external organisations and the public are also welcome to attend.

At each webinar, three researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds will address key questions from their special vantage points and ignite a dynamic discussion on each issue. The audience will have the opportunity to engage in the panel discussion through a facilitated Q&A, which SSRP Director, Professor Joseph Alcamo, will moderate in the first webinar.

He says: “We need answers about how the pandemic is affecting sustainability and what we should do about it, and I believe these webinars will help us find some of these answers.”

The panelists at the first webinar on the pandemic and biodiversity will be:

  • Dr Joanna Smallwood, a Research Fellow in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology, who works in nature conservation, biodiversity law, and governance issues in food production and consumption.
  • Dr Mika Peck, a Senior Lecturer in Biology in the School of Life Sciences, who is dedicated to conservation of tropical environments through research, grassroots conservation action and the support of environmental defenders.
  • Prof Jörn Scharlemann, Professor of Conservation Science in the School of Life Sciences, who researches the impacts of environmental changes on biodiversity and ecosystems.

Register now to attend the webinar on Zoom.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask the panel questions during the webinar, and can also contact SSRP with any questions you would like to submit to the panel in advance.

For any questions about the event, please email:

Stay up to date with future SSRP webinars and other activities by following on Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribing to the monthly SSRP bulletin.

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By: Amy Sweet
Last updated: Thursday, 25 June 2020