As humans, we have a remarkable capacity to collaborate, building global infrastructure that connects financial, political and social systems. However, having scaled our infrastructure globally, planetary boundaries have been exceeded in multiple directions. To protect Earth, we now face a task to transition both philosophically and technologically to lifestyles that seek to restore critical functions of natural ecosystems so that we, and other species on the planet, can survive. This is a mammoth challenge that will require changes in the jobs of hundreds of millions of people and a shift in ethics and legislation toward ecological protection and restoration. This book explores the motivations of human society, our global infrastructure and legislation. It highlights various systems and challenges that are contributing to ecosystem and species loss, and documents some of the solutions being offered. The interconnectivity of all these things is evident given the overlapping themes throughout the various sections, and the book serves to collectively highlight some of these major challenges and the locked-in nature of our systems so that we can address them.
Ellie Sherrard-Smith is an Advanced Research Fellow with Imperial College London (ICL), UK, and holds a PhD in Wildlife Parasitology from Cardiff University. After her doctorate, she worked for Public Health England, statistically exploring transmissible diseases in the UK before moving to ICL to focus on malaria parasite transmission with a particular emphasis on mosquito vector ecology and control. She has published 40 research papers across her career and currently holds a Future Leaders Fellowship with the UKRI Medical Research Council with an aim to help strategy decisions on malaria control and elimination in endemic settings using mosquito vector interventions. Her passion is the environment and sustainable living.