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Research Themes

Find the people who work within these themes:

UCCRI promotes interdisciplinary research and learning by bringing the natural sciences and technology into intellectual dialogue with the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Institute’s agenda focuses on creating understanding and finding solutions – in relation to the fundamental science of biodiversity change, the human activities that drive the loss of living diversity, and considering conservation itself as a highly complex set of ideas and practices.

The work programme for the Institute encompasses four broad areas of research, which cross-cut disciplinary and Departmental boundaries:

Knowledge and expertise: 
‘What works’ for the management of terrestrial and aquatic social-ecological systems; new forms of ‘Big Data’ (from new remote sensing and airborne platforms to social media) and their uses in ecological and social decision making; the science-policy interface and the nature of expertise in a ‘Post-Truth’ world; 
Diverse and contested knowledge traditions; 
Post-humanism and alternative ‘ways of knowing’ about humans and nature.

Conservation across protected and productive landscapes: 
Innovative methods and strategies to address species decline and loss of habitats;
Land Sharing/Sparing; 
Integrated Landscape Management for multiple ecosystem services; 
Protected Area governance and management; REDD+; 
Trade-offs and synergies associated with decision making for multiple stakeholders and multiple benefits across different scales; 
Institutional and governance challenges associated with coupled social-ecological systems.

Biodiversity in the Future Earth: 
Understanding and changing behaviour in relation to nature and the environment; 
Expectations, incentives, regulations and redistribution for managing human impacts on nature and the drivers of biodiversity loss; 
Material limits to growth, and de-growth; 
The Nature Needs Half and Half Earth propositions (and their critiques); 
The histories of conservation practice and policy, and the roles of the state and conservation organisations and conservation interventions as (contested) social practices; 
The implications of new technologies as agents of change for both conservation practice and human interactions with nature.

The values of nature: 
Understanding plural value traditions and the relationship of nature to health, well-being, poverty and prosperity; 
Testing potential approaches to (re)connect people with nature; 
The contributions of nature-based approaches to the Sustainable Development Goals and nature-based solutions to mitigating risk and vulnerability; 
Understanding natural and social capitals, and the role of biodiversity in natural capital; 
Assessing ecosystem functions and services, and the contested ways in which these are perceived, used and managed; Creative approaches (literature, the arts, media) and how these frame socio-natures.