Antactica - a small dinghy on the ocean, surrounded by ice and mountains

A Changing Planet Seminar by Dr Sian Henley, Lecturer in Marine Science at the University of Edinburgh

This event is taking place in person, with a livestream (online access via Zoom) for those attending attending online.

Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems are under increasing pressure from global climate change and direct human impacts. Decisive, immediate action on climate change mitigation is required at the global scale, as well as effective management at the local scale, to protect these ecosystems and their societal benefits worldwide.

The Southern Ocean is globally important for regulating climate by taking up atmospheric carbon dioxide, connecting the world’s oceans and ocean-climate system, and supporting key species and ecosystem services. Global climate change and ocean acidification are impacting the health and productivity of the Southern Ocean, with knock-on effects on these critical processes as well as regional fisheries (e.g. Antarctic krill) and other ecosystem services.

The first Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO, 2021) has shown significant changes in Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems, driven by global climate change and direct human impacts. MEASO is an international collaboration of over 200 researchers from 19 countries. A team of scientists from the MEASO initiative attended the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 to present the key findings and advocate for urgent global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to instigate climate recovery and to avoid irreversible deterioration of Southern Ocean ecosystems and associated loss of their wide-ranging societal benefits. In this talk, I will present an overview of the key findings and make the case that only by mitigating global climate change, alongside effective local conservation and management, can we effectively safeguard these vulnerable polar oceans now and into the future.

About the speaker

Dr Sian Henley is a Lecturer in Marine Science at the University of Edinburgh. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Southern Ocean Observing System (SOOS), a member of the Southern Ocean Task Force for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, and a Science Theme Leader within the Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society (SAGES). Sian has a diverse range of research interests from polar ocean ecosystem change to climate change impacts on children worldwide, and is a passionate lecturer, educator and communicator across the spectrum of marine and polar science.

Joining the event

This will be a hybrid event, with the opportunity for Imperial staff and students to attend at one of two campus locations (South Kensington and Silwood Park).

In Person

• South Kensington Campus – Huxley Building 213 (Clore Lecture Theatre)

• Silwood Park Campus – Fisher and Haldene Seminar Rooms


Guests can join the seminar remotely on zoom. Details to follow.


COVID19 control measures for in-person attendees

• If you feel unwell, please do not attend the event, and let us know so we can re-allocate your ticket.

• Please follow College guidance for face coverings when on campus and moving around buildings: COVID-19 – updates and guidance

• College staff and students should have a weekly lateral flow or PCR test before the event

• You should confirm your vaccination status via the College system if you are a student or staff, or provide proof on the day, when attending in person and if you are an external guest: Self-isolation exemption for close contacts via vaccination declaration


The Changing Planet seminar series

The Changing Planet seminar series is run by students and staff on the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Program. It offers the chance to hear the latest in understanding, adapting to and mitigating environmental problems, complementing the diversity of environmental research at Imperial College London and beyond.

Please be aware that our seminars are recorded. If you do not wish to appear on the recording please alert a member of staff. For any further enquiries regarding the Changing Planet seminar series, please contact Anne Houston or Hana Amer.

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