The Earth’s biodiversity is threatened by human activities worldwide, yet its sustainable use is fundamental to the future of humanity. As resources for nature conservation are limited, it may be appropriate to focus conservation efforts on the richest and most threatened reservoirs of species diversity. In total, 34 terrestrial and 10 marine hotspots of biodiversity have been identified based on available data on taxon richness, endemism and threat status (Myers et al. 2000, Roberts et al. 2002, Mittermeier et al. 2004).
Earth’s terrestrial (red) and marine (yellow) biodiversity hotspots.
(global landcover map © ESA – MEDIAS France/Postel)
HOTSPOTS is a multi-site Marie Curie Early Stage Training Network (EST) supported by the European Commission. The project undertakes research that will provide an ecological and evolutionary understanding of biodiversity in the most species-rich areas on Earth, testing the validity of hotspots across a range of organisms and establishing the causes of the uneven distribution of biodiversity across the globe.
The HOTSPOTS project funds nine Early-Stage Researchers, each based in one of the partner institutions of the HOTSPOTS consortium. The researchers are enrolled in a EuroPhD programme, comprising PhD research, summer schools (UK and Africa), university training modules (France, Switzerland, Germany) and training in complementary skills.