The Environmental Tipping Point: A Necessary Dialogue

Kathryn Nelson, Roy Nelson

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther contribution to conferencepeer-review


This paper will concentrate on the ecological theory of regime shift, also known as the tipping point. Regime shift is concerned with the resistance and resilience of ecosystems to disturbance. Nature is expected to respond slowly and smoothly to any disruptive incident, but this is not always the case, instead there is often a sudden toppling of one regime to another. These fluctuations are often mass extinction events. My aim is initially to describe scientific research into the possibility of trophic cascade in the world’s oceans as keystone species are lost and the possibility of regime shift grows ever closer. From the scientific I will then move to the artistic and discuss a collaborative art installation: Chorale Lament. This collaborative project was created with the sound artist, Roy Nelson. Over-fishing, climate change and pollution in the seas around our coasts inspired the project. It details the drastic reduction of the fish population which in turn has increased jellyfish blooms around the British Isles. The project uses underwater sound from Strangford Lough, the cry of seals, and anthropogenic noise from St. George’s market in Belfast. Text and imagery have also been used to fully engage and inform the public. This paper will explore a trans-disciplinary framework, identifying scientific research as well as an artistic approach to the theme of regime shift.

Roy Nelson will talk about underwater recording.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2021
EventBorrowed Time, on death, dying and change - Virtual, Dartington, United Kingdom
Duration: 31 Oct 202102 Nov 2021


ConferenceBorrowed Time, on death, dying and change
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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