National History Museum

Lectures on Biodiversity

Lectures on Biodiversity

The United Nations declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. The National Museum, in partnership with the University of the Free State, joins the international community in celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity by presenting a series of public lectures entitled Biodiversity: Past to Present. This series showcases not only the tremendous diversity of plants and animals, but also the research being undertaken to document and conserve living organisms.

Biodiversity, which includes all living organisms on Earth, can be used as a measure of the health of biological systems and is also important as a service provider for essential ecological processes, such as pollination. Important factors to consider in conserving our biodiversity include accurate monitoring of plant and animal populations, determining the impact of events, the power of food web interactions, habitat boundaries, and the stability and resilience of life forms after a catastrophic event or disturbance.

Dr Nico Avenant, Mammalogist at the National Museum, will present a talk on mammal diversity and the potential of using such diversity as an indication of environmental health. This will be followed by a talk by Prof. Nico Smit, Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences, University of the Free State, on the question of whether game farming is compatible with biodiversity conservation.

The lectures will take place on Thursday 16 September 19:00 in the Auditorium of the National Museum (36 Aliwal Street, Bloemfontein). Light refreshments will be served after the lectures and car guards will be present. Entrance is free, but as space is limited, please book in advance at direk [at] nasmus [dot] co [dot] za or phone Shirley at 051 447 9609.