UCL Division of Biosciences


People and Nature Lab

The People and Nature Lab is an interdisciplinary applied research and teaching partnership developing innovative approaches to tackle the challenges posed by biodiversity loss, global ecosystem degradation and climate change, to support a more sustainable relationship between people and nature.


Understanding how natural systems and human health and wellbeing depend upon one another is now critical as we face a growing global challenge: Human populations are appropriating more of the Earth’s resources, disrupting natural systems, and changing global climate patterns.

The People and Nature Lab in our new East campus in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, builds on UCL’s extraordinary breadth of world leading expertise across disciplines, bringing together academics from ecology, engineering, computer science, social science, health and the built environment to develop innovative approaches to tackle critical global challenges. 

The cross-departmental People and Nature Lab is led by the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER), a world leading centre of excellence for understanding the impact of rapid environmental change on biodiversity, how species are adapting to anthropogenic change, and how the degradation of nature impacts people and society.



About The People and Nature Lab

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The People and Nature Lab – led by UCL’s CBER – brings together three institutions: UCL, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the London Natural History Museum (NHM). Staff from six different UCL departments work together to create an interdisciplinary network.


Why is the People and Nature Lab so important?

The ecological crisis is a NEXUS problem. It requires experts from the built environment, ecologists, computer scientists, public health, economists and more to collaborate, share information, and develop hypotheses for testing together. The People and Nature Lab co-develops knowledge, skills, and expertise across disciplines in order to address biggest nexus problems we currently face. 

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Multi-disciplinary collaborations

The People and Nature lab is led by UCL’s Centre for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (CBER). CBER is one of the world’s largest research and training centres in ecology and biodiversity science. At the People and Nature Lab, CBER work alongside six other UCL centres to support the next generation of scholars and leaders.


Research Themes

The People and Nature Lab’s applied research expands CBER’s groundbreaking work in ecology by focusing explicitly on the consequences and impacts of – and solutions to – the biodiversity and climate crises, and their effects on society. 


Our Living Laboratory

The People and Nature Lab occupies a purpose-built building designed for interdisciplinary collaboration. It is surrounded by a unique park that allows for live data capture: The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, where a long-term vision for sustainable communities is embedded in the design of parklands, new homes, offices and open spaces.


UCL East

UCL East is the biggest UCL Project since the University was founded in 1826. This new campus in East London builds on UCL’s progressive history, positive impact and disruptive thinking. UCL East is the University Campus of the future with ground breaking research, technology and innovation.


This new MSc, the first of its kind globally, provides students with the interdisciplinary skills, theoretical and practical expertise needed to apply cutting-edge innovations in data science, sensor technologies, and applied artificial intelligence to monitor and manage ecosystems and wildlife populations to understand and reverse catastrophic changes in global biodiversity. 

MSc Ecology and Data Science

Building with plants over its exterior.

The MSc in Ecology and Urban Engineering is designed to equip you with the tools and understanding to design climate-resilient indoor and outdoor urban spaces that work with and for nature, bridging the gap between ecosystems and the man-made landscape. 

MSc Ecology and Urban Engineering (Sept 2024 entry)

The MSc in Ecology, Climate Change, and Health bridges the gap between research, policy, and practical application. It acknowledges the imperative for a collaborative approach across various sectors to tackle pressing global issues like health disparities, climate change, and the biodiversity crisis. 

MSc Ecology, Climate Change and Health (Sept 2024 entry)

Through the UCL Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, the People and Nature Lab is actively engaging with researchers, academics, institutions, and businesses worldwide to inform and develop our multi- and cross-disciplinary team of researchers, and to grow its impact.

 PhD and Fellowships 


Our new lab is looking for the brightest minds. You can find our current job opportunities here.

Join Us

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Watch the academics of UCL's Centre for Biodiversity and Environment and the People and Nature Lab present their research.

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