Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research


CBER News and Events

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush: Tracking the regent honeyeater in southeast Australia

April 2015 saw the 4th, and largest release of captive bred Regent Honeyeaters (Anthochaera Phrygia) into Chiltern Mt-Pilot National Park, VIC, Australia, and the start of the first field season of my PhD. The captive breeding and release of these birds is a huge collaborative project between BirdLife Australia, Taronga Zoo and The Victorian Government Department of Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

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Predicting disease outbreaks using environmental changes

A model that predicts outbreaks of zoonotic diseases – those originating in livestock or wildlife such as Ebola and Zika – based on changes in climate, population growth and land use has been developed by a UCL-led team of researchers.

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Improving the assessment of extinction risk

The identification of species at risk of extinction is a central goal of conservation, a process that has been spearheaded by the IUCN Red List. Quantitative assessments of more than 80,000 species now exist, forming the basis of a broad set of biodiversity conservation goals and actions, including global and regional target setting, conservation planning, and informing legislative frameworks to protect species.

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How the break up of Pangea affected terrestrial diversification

A study recently published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B by Sean Jordan, a PhD student in CBER, and others show that non-neutral processes are required if we are to replicate the increase in species richness demonstrated by the Phanerozoic fossil record.

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How protected areas influence their surroundings

In a study recently published in Conservation Biology, Judith Ament, a PhD student at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, investigated how South African national parks influence land-cover loss outside their boundaries.

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Biggest library of bat sounds compiled

The biggest library of bat sounds has been compiled to identify bats from their calls in Mexico – a country which harbours many of the Earth's species and has one of the highest rates of species extinction and habitat loss.

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IPBES and Beyond: A Future Earth Symposium

From the 6th to the 10th of March 2016 a group of more than 70 researchers working on policy, environmental management and conservation met in beautiful Monte Verita, Switzerland to examine data needs and gaps for the upcoming IPBES global and regional assessments of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Sarah Whitmee from CBER attended the meeting, which hosted researchers working across different types of biological systems and brought together data providers alongside some of those charged with conducting the assessments. 

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Alien species, EICAT and the IUCN

In March 2016, a team of invasion biologists and environmental scientists met for a workshop at the Institute of Botany in Průhonice in the Czech Republic, to discuss the implementation of a new methodology to quantify and categorise the impacts of alien species, known as the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT). The workshop was planned and facilitated by Tim Blackburn, Professor of Invasion Biology at CBER. Attendees represented 8 countries from a range of research institutions, and included the Chair of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG), Dr Piero Genovesi.

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When is a species as dead as a dodo?

A blog post written by Dr Lizzie Boakes, looks at why it is important to make sure a species is extinct. The blog written for Methods in Ecology and Evolution, which can be found here: Blog post - discusses the importance of sighting endangered animals and how models can predict extinction.  

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Bat Detective partners with British Science Week 2016

Bat Detective, the online citizen science project founded by CBER’s Prof. Kate Jones in collaboration with Zooniverse, have announced a partnership with British Science Week 2016. With the help of online participants, the project is aiming to hit a target of 100,000 new classifications during British Science Week, which runs from Friday 11th March until Sunday 20th March. 

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Reasons to conserve nature

What are the best arguments in favour of nature conservation? Is it sufficient to talk only of the intrinsic value of nature, or should we focus on the services that nature provides for us? 

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