Event Detail


Marine Biodiversity in Hong Kong: Current Status and Future Opportunities

Dr Bayden Russell
Wednesday, 30 Aug 2023
Complimentary Drinks from 6:45 pm; Talk at 7:30 pm
Hill Dickinson, 33B United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty

Dr Bayden Russell shows that Hong Kong has a rich marine biodiversity, accounting for over 25% of the species found in China even though it comprises less than 1% of the coastal marine waters. The resilience of this biota is remarkable given the extreme pressures on marine ecosystems in Hong Kong.

These pressures include: coastal development and reclamation; eutrophication; sedimentation; overfishing; and more recently climate change.  When these pressures are reduced – as with Hong Kong’s trawling ban – nature can begin to recover.
Bayden tells how he and other scientists are seeing some improvements in the prevalence of some species.  There has also been recent attention on the return of transient species to Hong Kong’s waters, including the recent magnificent whale sightings.
Bayden also speaks of local resident species.  Here he highlights the potential for Hong Kong to boost the recovery of species diversity, ecosystem functions and services through targeted restoration and conservation.  Hong Kong hosts vibrant and diverse marine ecosystems, but he argues that more needs to be done to improve their health and ensure that they continue to thrive into the future.
Dr Bayden Russell is from Australia and was educated at the universities of Queensland and Adelaide.  He is an Associate Director of the Swire Institute of Marine Science at The University of Hong Kong, where he is a Professor.  His research focuses on the impact of climate change and pollution on ecosystem function, the biology of key species, and how best to manage and conserve ecosystems in this context.
Dr Russell has been awarded several research fellowships to top international institutions, including Xiamen University, the University of British Columbia and an Association of Commonwealth Universities Fellowship for research at The University of Sydney.  He has 120 publications, including key papers in Nature Climate ChangeEcology LettersGlobal Change Biology and Current Biology, and has been ranked in the top 1% cited scientists in his research field globally since 2018.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$200 for RGS Members and HK$250 for guests and others, including free-flow drinks.

The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to
Hill Dickinson as the Venue Sponsor of this talk.

The opinions expressed in this talk are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of the Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong.

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