The China-UK Scoping Workshop on Biosphere Evolution and Resilience was held in Nanjing on 4–9 May 2015, with the supports of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Research Councils UK China (RCUK China) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). There are 17 scientists from UK and about 30 from China who attended the Workshop.
Deep-time research into the co-evolution of physical and biotic systems remains in its infancy. Each year new approaches are developed, new interdisciplinary partnerships forged, and exciting new fossil discoveries are made that permit lesser known chapters of our planet’s history to be incorporated into our emerging conceptual image. Investigations into how life and the planet have co-evolved to produce present conditions, diversity, and processes will allow us to make predictions about the future of Earth’s environment.
During the one-week workshop, scientists from UK and China present a wide discussion on the problems such as the conditions under which life first evolved; how biological complexity arose; how environmental changes shaped — and continues to shape — the biological diversity; how biological innovations can in turn affect environments; how ecosystems recover from extreme events such as mass extinctions, and the role that increases in morphological, developmental, and ecological complexity may have to impart stability and resilience to the biosphere in the face of environmental perturbations at a variety of scales across time and space.