The People and Nature Lab will expand and develop CBER’s research from the original vision of its founder Dame Georgina Mace, by addressing the consequences, impacts, and solutions global society needs to understand and develop in order to mitigate the catastrophic effects of climate change, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem degradation. This work centres around four crucial themes:
- Quantitative ecology
- Human health and wellbeing
- The application of citizen science
- Urban planning and development
Understanding the functions of biodiversity, ecosystems, and populations of animals and plants is fundamental if we are to mitigate the human-induced impacts on them. Our research attempts to understand the ecology of movement and organismal interactions through the application of sensing technology and sensor systems using automated data collection, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.
We explore the critical systems upon which we rely not only for food, health, and livelihoods, as well as those which provide benefits to wellbeing and quality of life. Important themes include the relationship between accessible green spaces and mental health, and how societal inequalities can impact how people access and interact with nature.
This theme includes both the understanding of the use of citizen science methodology to address biodiversity challenges, as well as the study of citizen science itself and the systems that support it. It includes exploring the role that both individuals and wider society can play in answering local, regional, and global questions; producing a blueprint for the engagement of members of the public with scientists and policymakers; and enabling practitioners to design and manage projects of any size or duration that enlist the public as explicit actors in the collection and use of data.
Here, we focus on incorporating environmental planning into civil engineering. The goal is to engage architectural and engineering design processes that incorporate biodiversity, enhance green spaces, and embed the use of environmentally sensitive infrastructure and materials. We are also interested in the ways that engineering can be used to moderate the environment in a way that provides health benefits, for example by monitoring and adapting the immediate environment to identify and control pathogens and disease risk.