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Join us as we journey from the rainforests of the Congo to the coral reefs of Australia! For Planet Earth, we will discover what we can learn from our bonobo cousins and discuss how we can protect one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Are bonobos really addicted to sex? Is it too late to save the rainforests? What is coral bleaching and why does its colour matter? Let’s find out… All talks will be in English.
The bonobo: an ape that shapes our future
Barbara Fruth (Reader/Associate Professor in Primate Behaviour and Conservation, Liverpool John Moores University)
For most of us, the bonobo (Pan paniscus) stands for sex, peace, women-power and the striking contrasts to its sister species the chimpanzee (P. troglodytes). However, how do our cousins really live and what is their role in the dark rainforests of the Central Congo Basin? Mankind needs rainforests to survive, bonobos inhabit their last strongholds in Africa. Does Planet Earth need the bonobo? A glimpse into our cousins’ day-to-day life will tease apart myths and facts of this fascinating ape many believe to be “the better human being”. Its survival is at risk; can we risk to lose this species?
The past, present, and future of the ocean's most diverse ecosystem – coral reefs
Gert Wörheide (Professor and Chair of Palaeontology & Geobiology, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich )
Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse habitats on our planet and are mainly formed by stony corals. Tropical coral reefs provide a variety of important ecological (e.g., biodiversity, coastal protection) and socio-economic (e.g., fishing, tourism) services - more than half a billion people are directly dependent on coral reefs. However, these habitats are particularly threatened. Above all, overfishing and, to an increasing extent, climate change are regarded as the main threats to the coral reefs leading to an uncertain future. What can we do to help coral reefs into a better future?