UCL Division of Biosciences


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.

Consequences of Biodiversity Loss

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 monitor, predict and mitigate the more deleterious consequences of biodiversity loss and change? We aim to develop useful approaches and tools that can be applied in different environments in the UK and overseas.

Environmental Change and Biodiversity

How has the environment shaped the origins, maintenance and loss of biodiversity, and how will current and future environmental change impact biodiversity? 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 use a wide combination of tools, techniques and systems, including field studies, modelling, remote sensing, literature and meta-analyses, to examine these questions.

Limits to Adaptive Change

What limits the rate of biological adjustment and/or adaptation to a changing environment? Adaptation can be achieved by behavioural responses, 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 and from historical events? We address these questions using studies in the field, laboratory and from theory.

NERC Impact Acceleration