Keynote Speakers

Dr. Kevin Gaston

Professor of Biodiversity & Conservation, University of Exeter, England.

Dr. Kevin Gaston is Professor of Biodiversity & Conservation, at the University of Exeter. He was the founding Director of the Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter (2011-17). He has received multiple prestigious awards, including the Honorary Doctorate, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2017), the International Ecology Institute (ECI) Prize in terrestrial ecology (2017), the British Ecological Society Marsh Award in Ecology (2013), and the ISI Web of Knowledge Highly Cited Researcher (2003-Present).

Dr. Gaston’s research addresses a wide range of conservation issues, including the effects of artificial light on wildlife, improving urban greenspace, ecosystem services, and technological advances for use in ecological science. His presentation to the APB will focus on the importance and value of conserving common species to challenge some widely held notions about priority in conservation science. He has published well over 500+ articles, multiple books, edited volumes and is the Editor-in-Chief of a new journal. Most recent publications include:


The biological impacts of artificial light at night: from molecules to communities.
Gaston, K.J., Visser, M.E. & Hölker, F. (eds.).  2015. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.


Urban ecology.
Gaston, K.J. (ed.) 2010. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.


People and Nature – a journal of relational thinking

Led by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gaston and Lead Editors Kai Chan, Robert Fish, Rosemary Hails, and Cecily Maller, People and Nature is a broad-scope open access journal from the British Ecological Society, publishing work from across research areas exploring relationships between humans and nature.

We encourage conceptual and empirical approaches to answer interesting questions within this scope. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methodologies are all welcome.  People and Nature fosters innovation and experimentation and particularly encourages submissions that stimulate debate.

Dr.  Gaston will be happy to chat about the journal at the APB Conference and answer any questions you might have.

See Research and publications from Dr. Gaston.

Dr. Michelle Marvier

Professor, Santa Clara University, California

Dr. Michelle Marvier is a professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University. She has published over 40 articles, and she currently serves on the editorial board of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Her research into new approaches to conservation has caused a stir in the halls of traditional thinking on this topic. As noted in one of her recent publications: “Soule (2013) describes some of the work of my colleagues and I as belonging to a ‘chimeric movement’ that ‘does not deserve to be labeled conservation’.” This has not deterred Dr. Marvier from moving forward on her passion in conservation science. Dr. Marvier is interested in a new conservation science that brings people and communities into balance as co-beneficiaries of conservation action.

“As scientists we must follow the data where they lead, regardless of whether the answers fit with our preconceived notions. Nowhere is this more at issue than in environmental science where some answers are uncritically accepted as right and good, while other answers can land us in a lot of hot water with our peers.”

Dr. Marvier has developed unwavering commitment to science as she teaches her students to develop scientific habits of mind to counter confirmation bias, to critically question the conventional wisdom, and to strive for effectiveness rather than righteousness. To help foster this kind of thinking more broadly within the environmental community, Dr. Marvier has focused her energy in recent years on two book projects:


Effective Conservation Science, Data not Dogma.
Peter Kareiva, Michelle Marvier, and Brian Silliman (editors). 2017. Oxford University Press.


Conservation Science, Balancing the Needs of People and Nature.
Peter Kareiva and Michelle Marvier.  2014.  WH Freeman & Co.

See research and publications from Dr. Marvier.