Rates of biodiversity loss across the world are now so alarming that it is generally recognised there is an urgent need to halt this loss of species that is largely being driven by human activities (e.g. last month’s UN Biodiversity conference, COP15). Indeed, the UN describe current extinction rates as the largest loss of life since the time of the dinosaurs. It is thus timely that we were recently awarded funding from BU’s Research Capacity Transformation Scheme for our project on preventing biodiversity loss for the benefit of both society and the natural world by developing sustainable solutions based on data collected using the latest technologies.
Our project is bringing researchers together from across BU and working with our match funders and external partners to deliver an integrated programme of research on biodiversity and sustainability that ranges from the social sciences through to the development of new analytical processes in the laboratory and engineering new technologies to monitor biodiversity. Our work focuses around four post-doctoral research projects that work in synergy with five match-funded PhD studentships. Work by the PhDs includes understanding extinction risks in critically endangered species in fragmented habitats, and identifies how schemes to reconnect and rewild habitats can reverse biodiversity losses. Our post-doctoral researchers will assess the relationships between society, consumer choices and public policy to benefit biodiversity, and identify how human-driven environmental changes are affecting biodiversity in terms of the behaviour, physiology and genetics of animal populations and communities.
If you want to hear more about our project, including how you can get involved, we are holding an open meeting for Bournemouth University staff on 24th January from 1 to 2 pm in Create lecture theatre. We look forward to seeing you there!
Rob Britton & Pippa Gillingham (Project leads)