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The secretive indri (Indri indri) of Madagascar is the largest living lemur. It is also critically endangered and highly evolutionarily distinct with no close relatives, a combination that makes its branch one of most precarious on the mammal evolutionary tree. In the likely event that the indri goes extinct, we will lose 19 million years of unique evolutionary history from the mammal tree of life. Photo:©pierivb, Depositphotos.com
An illustration of how smaller mammals - here exemplified by a nutria - will have to diversify for the next 3-5 million years to restore the loss of the large mammals. Graphics: Matt Davis, Aarhus Universitet.
Litopterns, like this Macrauchenia patachonica discovered by Charles Darwin, were a strange looking group of prehistoric South American mammals that were not closely related to any species alive today–they diverged evolutionarily from other mammals over 65 million years ago. When they went extinct at the end of the Ice Age, the mammal Tree of Life lost one of its deepest branches. Illustration:Bruce Horsfall, Macmillan, New York. Via Wikimedia Commons

2018.10.15 |

Mammals cannot evolve fast enough to escape current extinction crisis

We humans are exterminating animal and plant species so quickly that nature's built-in defence mechanism, evolution, cannot keep up. An Aarhus-led research team calculated that if current conservation efforts are not improved, so many mammal species will become extinct during the next five decades that nature will need 3-5 million years to recover.

Maize is a crop that will find things more and more difficult as climate change gives us more drought during the summer. Here is a Danish maize field from July 2018. Photo: Janne Hansen

2018.10.16 |

Climate changes require better adaptation to drought

Europe’s future climate will be characterised by more frequent heat waves and more widespread drought. Heat and drought will both challenge crop production, but drought in particular will be a problem – especially for spring sown crops such as maize.

Sustainable forest management in Europe has only a modest effect on mitigating global climate change. Photo: Janne Hansen

2018.10.16 |

Can forests save us from climate change?

A new study published in Nature has found that managing Europe’s forests to maximise carbon sequestration has a negligible effect on the global climate.

Events

Wed 31 Oct
09:30-15:00 | Richard Mortensenstuen, Frederik Nielsen Vej 2
Open Science Seminar: Machine Learning for Materials Discovery
Open Seminars are monthly themed events focusing on material development. The seminars are open for all.
Mon 05 Nov
14:15-16:15 | The AIAS Auditorium, Building 1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C
AIAS Fellows' Seminar: Shubiao Wu, AIAS Fellow
Constructed wetlands: A fancy ecosystem for water pollution control.
Mon 19 Nov
10:00-15:00 | iNANO auditorium, Gustav Wieds Vej 14
Open Science Seminar: Circular Economy - Rethink the use of materials
Open Seminars are monthly themed events focusing on material development. The seminars are open for all.