Prof John Cortes’ lecture, entitled ‘Fragments of Paradise, Nature and Man in Far-flung Islands’, takes a look at the issues that small islands like Gibraltar face when balancing economic development with environmental protection. The event will be followed by a short panel and opportunity for questions.

Beacon Professors are unique to the University of Gibraltar and the title is symbolic of their role to spread the light of knowledge, to inspire students and illuminate their life paths. Professor Cortes was elected a Beacon Professor in 2017, this is his inaugural lecture in the role.

About the Lecture
Small Islands and their waters hold tremendous biodiversity; but their size can bring nature into conflict with Man and Development. Ensuring environmental governance and protection of wildlife in these situations are strong challenges with tremendous possibilities but varied outcomes, with the balance between economic development and environmental protection not always easy to achieve. Using examples from Gibraltar, the other UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies, and the Galapagos Islands, the lecture will explore how these challenges are being met and what lessons can be learnt that are relevant at a global scale.

About the Speaker
Professor John Cortes is Minister for Education, Heritage, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change, HM Government of Gibraltar. John has a BSc. (Hons) Botany and Zoology from Royal Holloway College, University of London, 1979, and a D.Phil from Magdalen College and Animal Ecology Research Group, Oxford, 1983. In 2003 he was awarded an MBE for services to ecology and conservation. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Kingston. His research and publications reflect his interests in ornithology, plant and animal ecology, primatology, and conservation biology. Special interests include invasive species, reptile ecology, cliff ecology, phenology of migration, and ecology and behaviour of Barbary macaque.

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