Because of climate change and other environmental problems, ecosystems around the world have lost species. For example, in British Columbia, ecosystems have seen losses in sea otters and the gigantic Steller’s sea cows. The question now is: Can anything be done to help ecosystems recover, or to restore species?
Dr. Kai Chan, Canada Research Chair in Re-Wilding and Social-Ecological Transformation, is trying to answer these questions. His research addresses the challenge of transforming ecosystems and linked social systems so they can survive and even thrive amid the ongoing ecological and climate crises. He and his research team are focusing on coastal ecosystems on the west coast of Vancouver Island-and on urban and agricultural systems in the metro Vancouver region-to understand how diverse systems have changed over recent decades and millennia, and how they might regain productivity and benefits in the future.