Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo ‘The Decline of the Entomofauna and its Drivers’ - CANCELLED

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Thursday, 9 April 2020 - 12:30pm

CANCELLED - further information to follow

Francisco, from the Department of Environment and Energy, Canberra, works on the environmental impact and risk of chemical contaminant and ecology. He will discuss the serious and dramatic rates of decline worldwide in the biodiversity of insects. The main drivers are: habitat loss; pollution; biological factors; and climate change.


A review of 73 historical reports from across the globe has shown that worldwide biodiversity of insects is at peril. Dramatic rates of decline affect 41% of the world's insect species, while a third of them are threatened and may become extinct over the next few decades. A more recent UN report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service also found that 25% of the world species of animals and plants (about 1 million species) are at risk of extinction in the coming decades.  In terrestrial ecosystems, butterflies, moths, bees and dung beetles appear to be the insect groups most affected, whereas four major groups of aquatic insects (dragonflies, stoneflies, caddisflies and mayflies) have already lost a considerable proportion of species. In addition, insect biomass has decreased at a rate of over 2% annually in the past four decades. The main drivers of insect declines appear to be in order of importance: 1) habitat loss and conversion of natural landscapes to intensive agriculture and urbanisation; 2) pollution, mainly that by synthetic pesticides and fertilisers;3) biological factors, including introduced species and pathogens; and 4) climate change, particularly in tropical regions and in mountain settings of temperate zones. The ecological implications of such declines and the priority actions needed to stem them will be discussed.


Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, currently works in the Chemicals and Biotechnology Assessments Section, Chemicals Management Branch | Environment Standards Division, Department of Environment and Energy, Canberra.  He is an Honorary Associate, School of Life & Environmental Sciences, the University of Sydney, Sydney.

Born in Spain, Francisco received a Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences and a PhD in Ecology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Moving to Australia, he earned a degree in Applied Science from the University of New South Wales and worked in post-doctoral positions at the University of Sydney. Between 2001-2006, he was Assistant Professor at Chiba University (Japan), where he taught environmental toxicology and studied the ecological impacts of pesticides. After five years in Japan, he returned to Australia to work first at the University of Technology, Sydney, then at the Centre for Ecotoxicology in the Office of the Environment & Heritage NSW, at the University of Sydney and finally at the federal Department of Environment and Energy.  He is author and co-author of over 90 scientific articles and book chapters on the environmental impact and risk of chemical contaminants, ecology and related subjects, as well as editor and principal author of the book Ecological Impacts of Toxic Chemicals. He serves as Associate Editor of the journal Entomologia Generalis, as reviewer of over 60 international journals and as expert assessor for evaluation of scientific projects in eight countries.