Conservation research seminar by Dr Diogo Verissimo

Posted on 27th April 2017

On 27th April, the Conservation Biology Research group hosted for its seminar series  Dr. Diogo Veríssimo, a biologist turned marketer, from Johns Hopkins University in the US.  Diogo has an interest in identifying and measuring conservation success, and during his well received talk he emphasised the overlap between social sciences and conservation. 

The topic of his talk was about how to properly measure conservation interventions which use large scale public awareness campaigns and how this is not fully achieved in even high profile conservation projects. He particularly focused on issues such as illegal wildlife trade and explained that even with big budget marketing campaigns, projects do not always incorporate rigorous assessment of long term impact. Diogo encouraged collaboration between conservationists, NGOs and social scientists to devise meaningful methods of assessment of public awareness campaigns.

He also presented his inspirational “Lost and Found” project which tells the story of species once believed to be extinct which have since been rediscovered allowing the conservation message to be spread to a wide audience in a positive way.

After his talk, Diogo also held a question and answer session with postgraduate students at the department of Biological Sciences, which gave the students the rare opportunity to discuss careers and trends in conservation with an expert in the area. Diogo left us with the strong message of the importance of quantifying and celebrating conservation success where we can find it.