The State of Biodiversity

3rd Annual State of Biodiversity Symposium

The 3rd annual State of Biodiversity Symposium took place on Wednesday, February 5 and invited conservation professionals and biodiversity loversto rally around the latest science, emerging threats, and management success stories in the world of conservation. The Symposium was timed to be after the State of the Union, State, and City addresses to shine a light on conservation and biodiversity, a topic that is discussed all too infrequently in these public addresses.

The symposium featured a keynote presentation by Todd Keeler-Wolf entitled California-Style Biodiversity: Why We Wonder, Worry, and Hope. It was followed by four concurrent panel sessions: San Diego Canyon Conservation, Habitat Conversation Plans (HCPs) for Conservation and Discovery, Biodiversity and Human Health, and Implications of Black-Market Biodiversity.

Within these sessions, we covered topics including but not limited to ecological disruptions in canyons, new species discovery, the importance of corridors and connectivity in the context of HCPs, the benefits of outdoor experiences on children’s mental health and recovery, illegal trade and smuggling of plants and animals, and violence against conservation advocates.

The State of Biodiversity Symposium brought together conservationists, land managers, scientists, and the interested public to facilitate necessary interdisciplinary conversations about our region’s ecological condition in the wake of climate change and a variety of other human impacts.

Learn more about past symposia.

A Nat Talk took place the following week, where VP of Science and Conservation Dr. Michael Wall shared a high-level summary of the Symposium. Check out the Nat Talk here or watch below. You can see all talks from the symposium here.


The State of Biodiversity Symposium included morning and afternoon concurrent sessions. More.

Keynote Speaker

Todd Keeler-Wolf served as the 2020 State of Biodiversity keynote speaker. More.

Speaker Profiles

Each session featured researchers from the Museum or external organizations. More.


Thank you for a great event! Don’t miss the Nat Talk where VP of Science and Conservation Dr. Michael Wall shared a high-level summary of the Symposium.

The 2020 State of Biodiversity is made possible by presenting sponsor Jane A. Lehman and Alan G. Lehman Foundation, the J.W. Sefton Foundation, and San Diego Zoo Global, with program support from The Downing Family Foundation and media partner kpbs_logo.png.

A special thank you to the 2020 State of Biodiversity Advisory Committee for their insights and support bringing this symposium to life: Allison Alberts, Chantel Jimenez, Holly Smit-Kicklighter, John Randall, Mendel Stewart, Robert Fisher, Susan Wynn, and William Berry.