Professor Peter Gell is Associate Dean for Research in the School of Health and Life Sciences at Federation University in Ballarat (Australia). He is a paleoecologist who specializes in the use of diatom algae to trace the evolution of the condition of wetlands over centuries to millennia to inform wetland condition assessments under the Ramsar Convention. He has spent the last 30 years researching changes in the wetlands of the Murray Darling Basin (southeastern Australia). He leads the Past Global Changes Aquatic Transitions Working Group that examines long-term human and climate impact on the world’s wetlands.

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Loss, Restoration and Multiple Values of Wetlands Where data exists, it has been shown that humans have destroyed 50-87% of the world’s original wetlands1, leaving about 12 million km2 of wetland area2. This alarming loss of wetlands was mostly caused by agricultural and urban development. Stakeholders involved in the conversion of wetlands …

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