We live at a time when human activity is the dominant influence on Earth’s environment: the Anthropocene epoch. Humans have made an irreversible mark on the world and are the most defining force on this planet—more than all other natural forces combined. Considering the impact of the human race, with particular emphasis on climate change, this event will ask: are we at the point of no return?

This discussion explores what the Anthropocene age means for biodiversity and conservation, examining how humans have transformed the world and how we can work to protect its remaining biodiversity. Panellists include evolutionary biologist Chris Thomas, The Blackbird Diaries author, Karen Lloyd, director of science for WWF, Mark Wright, and Primate Change author, Vybarr Cregan-Reid.

About The Host

Sabbiyah Pervez

Sabbiyah Pervez is a BBC journalist and writer based in Yorkshire. Having been born and raised in Bradford, she has a passion for encouraging diverse minority communities to own and narrate their own stories. She is a fierce advocate of critical thinking and is known to push the boundaries allowing for people to understand a variety of perspectives.

About The Speakers

Vybarr Cregan-Reid

Vybarr Cregan-Reid is an author and academic who has written widely on the subjects of literature, health, nature and the environment. His current book is ‘Primate Change: How the World We Made is Remaking Us’ – which has also been adapted for a series on the BBC World Service.


Karen Lloyd

Karen Lloyd is a writer of creative non-fiction and poetry. She is the author of two books: The Gathering Tide, which won a Lakeland Award, and The Blackbird Diaries (2018). Karen contributes to the Guardian Country Diary and is a features writer for Countryfile Magazine. She lives in Cumbria.

Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas is a Biology Professor from the University of York, researching the impacts of humanity on the World’s biodiversity. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Entomological Society, and author of the popular science book “Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature is Thriving in an Age of Extinction” (Penguin).

Mark Wright

Mark Wright is the Director of Science at WWF–UK. He has a long history with WWF including stints as Conservation Science Adviser, leading the Africa team, heading up the work on Borneo and Eastern Himalayas for WWF-UK. For the past 18 months he has also been adviser on the Our Planet project – a major Netflix series and web platform that is launching April 5.