Dr. David BAKER

Coral Reef Biologist

David is a multi-disciplinary ecologist who studies how humans impact the ecology and evolution of the oceans. He is particularly interested in coral reef ecosystems, which are currently undergoing a perilous decline. His group’s research scales from the ecosystem to cellular level, and combines tools in geochemistry, stable isotope ecology, ecophysiology, and molecular biology to answer questions pertaining to coral symbiosis and interactions with anthropogenic stressors. By improving our understanding of how corals function and how they have evolved over time, his goal is to foster their conservation for future generations.

Countdown for Coral Reefs - Past, Present, & Future 末日倒數:珊瑚今昔與前景

About the Talk
講座內容

3,000 years ago, humanity began a dramatic transformation of the landscape of Southern China. Forests were cleared for rice cultivation and firewood to power what would become Hong Kong’s first major industrial endeavor. As China and other nations began to explore and trade on the high-seas, a rich bounty of life teemed below the surface of the South China Sea. For the ensuing millennia, that bounty was all but extinguished. Today, we live in a bustling metropolis in a landscape of mega-cities - the Greater Bay Area. With more than 100 million people in our neighborhood the impacts on nature are stronger than ever. Yet, beneath the waves the ocean is eerily quiet - fisheries are gone, mangrove forests, seagrasses, oyster and coral reefs have been destroyed. Climate change, pandemics, and waning resources are a constant threat. Globally, by 2050 we predict these ecosystems may be lost to history. In this talk, I will introduce what we can do to restore the ocean that surrounds us and regain the benefits of proper ecosystem functioning? How can we re-invest in our ecological future? Can technology and entrepreneurship reverse our slippery slope to catastrophe?

三千年前,人類開始為華南地理環境帶來巨變。森林被開墾為稻田,其林木則為人類建設所用。當中華文明開始與海外文化經商往來,華南水域之下亦充滿別開一面的生機。只是隨著千年已過,水底生命亦逐漸逝去。今日我們居於巨大的都市群——粵港澳大灣區内其中一個充滿活力的都市。隨著鄰近地區常住人口超過一億,自然生態面臨前所未有之影響。然而,波紋之下,水底生態一片寂靜:魚業蕭條;紅樹林、海草、生蠔與珊瑚群悉數被毀。 氣候變化、疫症與資源緊縮一直威脅世界。我們估算大約在2050年前,全球將失去上述的生態圈。在此演講中,我將介紹可以修復海洋生態、重獲健康生態圈利益的方法,何以再投資生態未來,並討論以科技與創業行動,提出挽回生態的可能。