Ian Boyd is a professor in biology at the University of St Andrews. He is director of both the Scottish Oceans Institute and the Natural Environment Research Council’s Sea Mammal Research Unit. He has been chairman of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland and was chief executive of SMRU Ltd.

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The diagnosis for the planet is clear. While a great many problems require more research, the focus of future research should expand dramatically to maintain and restore biodiversity rather than focus on, as coral reef biologist Nancy Knowlton has said, “further refining the obituary of nature.” Part of conserving biological diversity is …

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