Experts' profiles - Mark Spalding
Mark Spalding
Mark Spalding is a Senior Marine Scientist in the Global Marine Team of The Nature Conservancy. The Conservancy is one of the world's foremost conservation NGOs and is currently active on the ground in over 30 countries, working with governments, local NGOs, local communities and other partners. Dr Spalding is based in the Conservation Science Laboratory in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge.

Although he has worked extensively in the field, notably in the Indian Ocean, Dr Spalding is best known for his major works of synthesis, pulling together global compilations on the distribution and status of marine habitats. Recent works include The Atlas of Global Conservation, The World's Protected Areas, and A Guide to the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean (University of California Press). He also worked with many partners in the development of a marine biogeographic classification (Marine Ecoregions of the World). In examining global threats, Dr Spalding co-authored a global review of threats to the global oceans (Halpern et al 2008). Prior to joining TNC Mark worked for the United Nations Environment Programmes World Conservation Monitoring Centre and worked on a number of other influential works including Reefs at Risk, the World Atlas of Coral Reefs and the first World Mangrove Atlas (1997).

Dr Spalding's latest work, the World Atlas of Mangroves was launched this month (July, 2010). Published by Earthscan, with partners from around the world, it is the most comprehensive assessment ever undertaken of these critical ecosystems. Despite covering only 150,000 km2, mangroves are phenomenally important as a source of food (fisheries) and forest products (timber, charcoal, honey...), coastal protection from storms and rising seas. We cannot afford to loose them.
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