Floating Ideas Lecture Series

Doors Open 6:30pm, Lecture 7:00pm

Regular admission applies, free for members and annual pass holders

Urban Biodiversity

Compared to wilderness areas, cities are often viewed as biological deserts. However, many cities are biological hotspots located on estuaries, floodplains or other biologically productive, unique and strategically located habitats. For example, Victoria is vital to the Garry Oak ecosystem and Metro Vancouver is key to the Fraser River’s salmon stocks and birds of the Pacific Flyway. They are rich in biodiversity with its own unique qualities because of introduced non-native species and new novel ecosystems not seen anywhere else in nature. Urban biodiversity is complex, dynamic and fascinating because the city is a place for both nature and people.

Val Schaefer, PhD, RPBio, is a Professor Emeritus in the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies, where he was the Academic Administrator of the Restoration of Natural Systems Program. His research and practice focus on urban biodiversity using an approach that combines ecology, natural history and landscape architecture. Val has authored, co-authored and edited several books including Urban Biodiversity: Exploring Natural Habitat and its Value in Cities and The Natural History of Stanley Park. The rewards Val has received for his work include the BC Minister of the Environment’s Award for Environmental Education, the BC Society of Landscape Architects’ Award for Community Service, and the Vancouver Natural History Society (VNHS) John Davidson Award for Conservation.