UCL Division of Biosciences


Communicating Science

 CBER is committed to promoting science as a creative and inclusive way of seeing the world, celebrating our understanding of nature, as well as embracing our uncertainty about how it works. Science is also fundamental to rational, evidence-based policy.

The UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER) strives to effectively communicate research to 3 main audiences:

1. Wider Public

2. Policymakers

3. Academia

Communicating with the Wider Public

CBER engages with the public to inform them about our ongoing research, to empower informed debate on key policy issues, promote science as a creative career for people from all backgrounds, and understanding of the role that we can all play in creating a sustainable future.

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PhD student Chloë Metcalfe was interviewed by Year Four students at CEIP Joaquin Costa, a Primary School in Madrid  - to help them celebrate Women in Science on the 11th of February. They had a whole range of questions and were interested to know what biodiversity was and if there are many female scientists. 

PhD student Roi Maor was interviewed by BBC presenter Lucy Cooke for her programme “The Power of…” on BBC Radio 4 which discusses topics related to animal nocturnality. The discussion traverses currently observed patterns of activity in animals, their evolutionary origins, and how this aspect of animal ecology may shape responses to anthropogenic global change.

Last year members of CBER were involved in The Letters to a Pre-Scientist pen pal programme. The mission of LPS is to facilitate one-on-one connections to humanise STEM professionals, demystify STEM career pathways, and inspire all students to explore a future in STEM. You can find out more information and read about Dr Emeline Favreau’s experience here.


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Communicating with Policymakers 

habitat fragmentation

CBER works closely with policymakers ranging from governments, NGOs and stakeholders to inform policy and to promote the transition to a survivable and more equitable future where human economies are placed within nature, and within the planetary boundaries. 

Members of CBER compiled a response to the recent call for evidence from the Environmental Audit Committee on Biodiversity and Ecosystems. A range of questions were set out ranging from topics including how well the government is monitoring the impact of UK activities on biodiversity to how policy can be better integrated to address biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development. The evidence supplied will be published online alongside other responses to the call.

Communicating with the Wider Research Community 

A sustainable future demands a global and fundamentally interdisciplinary approach. CBER promotes science through extensive discussions with the wider research community. In particular, our work connect closely with public health, social sciences, as well as economics, architecture, public planning, and global governance.

CBER limits to adaptive change images

The 5th British Bat Research Symposium was held online on the 11th of March 2021. Organised by PhD students Ella Browning (UCL) and Domhnall Finch (Sussex).  The aim of BritBats is to bring together British Isles based students carrying out bat research and foster connections within the community. 

Dr Christoph Meyer (Salford) gave an inspiring keynote, student oral presentations followed, with a wide variety of topics from diets, livestock management, acoustic monitoring and DNA metabarcoding as well as various panel discussions. The next British Bat Research Symposium will be held in 2023.

Professor Richard Gregory from the RSPB’s Centre for Conservation Science describes an important new paper he co-authored recently in Nature Ecology & Evolution led by Dr Louise Mair . The innovative paper introduces a brand-new biodiversity metric designed to guide and steer global species recovery.

The new metric, STAR (Species Threat Abatement and Restoration), quantifies the contributions that lowering species threats and restoring habitats in specific places could offer towards reducing global extinction risks. You can find more information here.

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