This event has now finished.
  • Date and time: Sunday 11 June 2023, 2.30pm to 5pm
  • Location: In-person only
    Piazza Building, Campus East, University of York (Map)
  • Admission: Free admission, booking required

Event details

Delve into the topic of biodiversity and discover the nuanced relationships between humanity and nature with acclaimed environmental writer Emma Marris and Chris Thomas, Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the University of York.

Human activities have caused the world’s physical and biological processes to change so significantly that we increasingly think of Earth as having entered a new geological epoch - the ‘Anthropocene’.

This disruption has resulted in the extinction of many species, but the Anthropocene is also a time of biological gains and it may eventually be considered one of the greatest boosts to biological diversity in history. It is important to understand the causes and consequences of biodiversity gains and losses, and to use this knowledge to inform and influence how society responds.

Join Chris and Emma as they discuss biodiversity, tackling challenging questions such as: Are humans causing new species to come into existence? And do negative and positive human attitudes to different species have any impact on their fates?

This work was funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Centre – the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the University of York.


Want to learn even more about biodiversity? Then why not stay on for some exciting and informative hands-on activities (3.30pm to 5pm)!

Drop in to experience an immersive blend of visuals and sounds, which will transport you through time from the perspective of biodiversity. You will be able to get your questions answered by our knowledgeable staff and be sure to learn something new. No booking required for these short, 15-minute immersive experiences.

About the speakers

Emma Marris is an environmental writer and an Institute Fellow at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. She is the author of Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World and Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World. Emma also writes about the human and nonhuman worlds, and the enduringly complex relationships between them for National Geographic, the Atlantic, The New York Times, Wired and other publications. She lives in Oregon with her husband - with whom she occasionally co-authors environmental philosophy papers - and their two children.

Connect with Emma Marris on Twitter

Chris Thomas is Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity at the University of York. He is interested in understanding the biological and human processes that give rise to species being successful, the ways that people exploit them and the ways that successful species exploit humans. He is also intrigued by our attitudes to successful species, given that the Anthropocene is as much about how humans see our place in the natural world as it is about the biological and physical realities of change. Chris is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and former President of the Royal Entomological Society.

Connect with the Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity on Twitter


Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

Venue details

  • Wheelchair accessible