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Conservation Research Institute


There is widespread recognition of the importance of working across disciplinary boundaries to address major intellectual and societal issues of our time, especially in relation to conservation.  Biodiversity conservation is concerned not only with the preservation and management of species and habitats but also with understanding the complex web of ecosystem functions and how these underpin and interact with sustainable human development, whether in ‘natural’ or ‘managed’ (agricultural, forest, fishery) systems. This requires insights that emerge from a wide range of methodological and disciplinary perspectives – from spatial and temporal data and models that document and predict ecosystem change, to the values, governance, political and behavioural contexts which determine the types of interventions that society is willing to implement, and the likelihood of their effectiveness.

UCCRI provides a key space in which to explore the understanding that emerges when disciplinary silos are broken down, and to foster productive – often mutually critical – dialogue between colleagues from across the University. Effective collaboration across disciplines is often strongest when grounded in robust approaches that emerge from an established academic home. Rather than eroding the identity of these core disciplines, interdisciplinarity tests and strengthens them through this critical engagement and dialogue.

UCCRI’s activities are designed with this vision at their centre. They aim to enhance the effectiveness of existing University Departments and Schools by providing opportunities for research leaders and early career scholars to engage in mutually beneficial collaboration and dialogue, focused around the challenges of understanding how humans relate to nature, and to each other, and to consider societal responses to growing vulnerability and environmental change in an increasingly insecure world.

 Watch our series of videos on interdisciplinary conservation