UCL Division of Biosciences


Research Themes

 The UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER) develops innovative research at the interface of biodiversity and environmental change through 3 Research Themes:

1. Consequences of Biodiversity Loss

2. Environmental Change and Biodiversity

3. Limits to Adaptive Change

Research Theme One: 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.

lake malawi

Recent Papers

Research Theme Two: Environmental Change and Biodiversity

habitat fragmentation

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.

Recent Papers



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Land Use, Biodiversity Loss and Possible Impacts on Ecosystem Function

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The loss of bumblebees - Why is it happening and why is it important? 

Research Theme Three: 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.

CBER limits to adaptive change images

Recent Papers

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The Ecological and Economic Value of Wasps


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 NERC Impact Acceleration

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Impact Acceleration project began in 2013 and has funded events, workshops, lectures and educational material which have broadened the impact of research in CBER.

Like our research, these outputs have covered a broad range of topics, from natural capital accounting to biodiversity monitoring and protection both globally and in the UK, and fostered collaborations with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), PREDICTS, Microsoft Research, eftec, The IUCN, WWF, British Library Labs and many more. Find Out More

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Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity

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How Can Biodiversity Loss lead to Global Pandemics?

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