PhD Correia Ricardo

161700 €

A bio-cultural approach to enhance the conservation of neglected biodiversity

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

Despite decades of investment in biodiversity conservation efforts, unsustainable human behaviour continues driving an increasing number of species towards extinction. Species extinctions depend on both biological and cultural factors, as public support is essential for the implementation and success of conservation. For example, evidence shows that globally iconic, charismatic and popular species are able to secure more conservation resources than less visible species and thus be more likely to avoid extinction but the cultural drivers of conservation support and investment remain poorly understood. There is a pressing need to improve our understanding of the temporal and spatial dynamics of species’ cultural profiles and how they shape support for and investment in their conservation. Using an innovative culturomics approach based on digital data, I aim to characterize species’ cultural profiles by combining multiple metrics in a novel framework, validate the outputs of this framework as an indicator of species-level conservation effort, and use them to produce the first global list of highly invisible and globally endangered species. I will use this framework to identify priority actions and areas for their conservation. This is an original and timely project that adopts a biocultural approach to shed light on neglected species of conservation concern as a means to halt global biodiversity loss.