Professor Sharon Robinson | “Antarctic plants in a time of change” | TEDxUWollongongWomen 2016


Antarctica is completely devoid of trees and shrubs, with vegetation mostly consisting of incredibly slow growing mosses and lichens. Among their shoots live hardy insects which have evolved to freeze and thaw in sync with the harsh winters and the short summers. Professor Sharon Robinson has studied this teeming ecosystem for nearly two decades, and says we still have so much to learn from it.

Professor Sharon Robinson is co-director of the Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions at the University of Wollongong. Her research investigates how plants obtain and use energy, and applying this knowledge to specific plant communities, including Antarctic mosses. With a multidisciplinary and multinational team, the impact of this research is far-reaching and has informed and changed the management and conservation of terrestrial plant communities in the Antarctic. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

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