Welcome to keystonecollapse.site, the home of the Keystone Collapse science-meets-art outreach project based at the University of Southampton. Follow the links below to find out more about the science about ecosystem collapse and the artwork created during this project.
Over the past 40 years, the total number of wild animals on Earth has halved. Humans are producing a mass extinction event greater than any in the past 62 million years. Decreasing biodiversity may be similar to popping out rivets from an aircraft. A few missing rivets will not cause too much harm. But continuing to remove them threatens a collapse. This artwork interprets research conducted by a team of academics (Doncaster et al 2016) in the UK & China on how increased pollution in Chinese lakes changed biodiversity which acted as a signal of an impending ecosystem collapse.
Southampton sculptor Chris Cudlip worked with Dr James Dyke to produce a clay representation of a lake sediment core. Different diatom species are represented in relief. A critical transition occurs halfway up the column.
The Keystone Collapse sculpture will be at the University of Southampton Science & Engineering Festival on Saturday 18th March in the Biodiversity Zone down in the University Gardens – come see us there!