Showing articles associated with Roberto Salguero-Gomez

Dr Rob Salguero-Gómez is Associate Professor in Ecology at the Department of Zoology.

Rob's interests include the ecology of natural populations of animals and plants. He looks at large-scale patterns and mechanisms of species distributions, including how animals and plants are responding to climate change.

Rob's work has highlighted that research is urgently needed in locations around the globe where the environment is going to change most. His recent findings include that there is research on the effects of climate change on less than 1% of all mammals – but 25% of mammals are currently endangered.

Rob's work is interdisciplinary, and he leads a research group (The SalGo Team) that studies a number of areas including species distributions, habitat suitability, conservation biology and population forecasts.

Why is Oxford a good place to work in research related to environmental challenges?

Oxford is a leader in our understanding of environmental challenges due to its unique collegial system. Being based at world-leading Departments helps, but is not enough to overcome the multi-disciplinary challenges that environmental change poses. The collegial system, whereby academics and students from different Departments come together at the Colleges to interact and brainstorm means that synergies and creative solutions occur more naturally.

What is the biggest environmental challenge facing the planet right now?

Without a doubt: habitat degradation. Habitat degradation alone is responsible for the loss of more terrestrial and aquatic species than most other direct and indirect human effects. Our responsibilities, as researchers, is to seek solutions to understand and predict wildlife population collapses due to habitat degradation (and other factors) before these happen.

Despite the challenges, are you optimistic about our future?  

I most definitely remain optimistic, despite the on-going environmental challenges. Never before has the general public been more aware of our actions on biodiversity than in this generation. The exponential growth of smart technologies, responsible for bringing societal awareness via social media, can also be used to monitor biodiversity. The marriage of technology, ecological theory and ecological modelling have already positioned us at the gateway of a new era: one that will be characterised by more efficiently and cheaply examine, understand and predict biodiversity changes as response to habitat degradation, climate change, etc.

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Roberto Salguero-Gomez