The future of the Earth's human, animal and plant populations are explored in this Beth Shapiro keynote.
The evolutionary biologist discusses the various factors that lead to the decline, and eventual end, of a species. She explains that at some point in the history of any species' life span, a genetic (or population) bottleneck occurs. This decreases, and often, eliminates the genetic diversity of that species and causes the population to deline. This leads to the inability to adapt and overcome threats from either climate changes or predators and the life form eventually diminishes into non-existence.
By pinpointing when a species enters into this bottleneck, the speaker explains how scientists are then able to understand what situational factors lead the species into remission. By discovering what these factors are, it is then possible to attempt to protect other similar species from suffering the same fate.