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Research Themes

CBER aims to develop innovative research at the interface of biodiversity and environmental change and as well as bringing together UCL researchers from a wide range of disciplines we focus on three core research themes below. 

Consequences of biodiversity loss

Environmental change and biodiversity

Limits to adaptive change

What are the consequences of biodiversity loss and change for people’s wellbeing? Working across the full chain of interacting effects of environmental change from biological processes and functions, to impacts on people, how can we better evaluate, predict and mitigate the more deleterious consequences of biodiversity loss and change? We will develop synthetic tools to address this topic, building on expanding studies in different contexts in the UK, overseas and especially in developing countries. How does environmental change impact biodiversity, in theory and in practice? Many current environmental trends follow rates and forms never documented before. How then can models and predictions be developed and be tested? What empirical systems allow ecological consequences of environmental change on biodiversity to be analysed? We will use the widest combination of tools, techniques and systems, including field studies, remote sensing, literature and meta-analyses to examine this question. What limits the rate of biological adaptation to a changing environment? Adaptation can be achieved by phenotypic plasticity, dispersal or evolution. But each of these mechanisms has different costs and benefits for species and population persistence. How can we evaluate the limits in different kinds of species and across habitats? What is the evidence from empirical studies, from historical events and from theory? We will address this question using studies in the field, laboratory and from theory.

Page last modified on 15 mar 13 16:03