Understanding the dynamics of biodiversity

Global biodiversity underpins ecosystem functioning, but is in serious decline in response to the major drivers of invasive species, climate change and habitat degradation.

ACCE research is at the forefront of addressing these key issues by understanding the dynamics of single-species, interacting species and communities using theoretical models, lab populations, experimental microcosms and real-world environments.

We place a strong emphasis on quantitative, analytical and computational techniques, such as epidemiological and metapopulation dynamic modelling, bioinformatics, and a range of ’omics technologies. For example, environmental microbiologists within ACCE use molecular techniques such as metagenomic sequencing technology to study bacteriophage and microbial community ecology across natural and managed environments.

ACCE behavioural ecologists use proteomics and structural biology to understand chemical communication between mammals. The unique long-term species distribution and abundance databases at CEH underpin our investigations of the spatio-temporal drivers of biodiversity changes.