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Human water security and acquatic life in danger says international expert

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 14, 2010

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Homepage , myUNB , UNB Fredericton

Global rivers are in severe crisis because of pollution, dams, loss of wetlands, agricultural runoff, a changing climate, and other stressors - and 80% of the earth’s population is living near these waters.  A sobering report, published September 30 in the journal Nature, shows that human water security and aquatic life are in great danger. 

One of the authors of Global threats to human water security and river biodiversity is coming to the University of New Brunswick to deliver this year’s H.B.N. Hynes Lecture on Oct. 20 and 22.

Dr. Stuart Bunn is an international expert in river health, and the director of the Australian Rivers Institute.  He will speak on both the Fredericton and Saint John campuses.

“What a great opportunity this is to host a renowned lecturer like Dr. Bunn,” says Allen Curry, director of UNB’s Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI).  “He is passionate about rivers and tirelessly advocates for better ways to protect them and to meet the needs of both humans and fish.”

There are many similarities among river ecosystems in Australia and Asia, and in New Brunswick.  “Dr. Bunn’s research will be of great interest in this province because of the importance of our rivers to the economy, our welfare and the health of the environment. We are affected by these issues locally as much as we are globally and New Brunswick can learn much from Bunn’s experience,” says Curry.

Bunn will give a public lecture in Saint John on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. in the Hazen Hall Lecture Theatre.  In his talk, Balancing Water Needs for Humans and Nature, he will discuss the global crisis facing rivers, why it is critical to protect them, and how human impacts can be reduced to improve water security.

He will be at the Fredericton campus on Friday, Oct. 22.  His scientific talk, Using Stable Isotopes to Understand River Foodwebs, will take place at 3 p.m. in Room 146 of Bailey Hall.  In this lecture, Bunn will reveal new ways to understand how life in rivers is supported and the link between rivers and their surrounding landscape.