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Latest news from UCCRI.

DotDotGoose - open source software for counting objects in an image

The American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and 
Conservation (CBC) has released an open source tool to assist with 
manually counting objects in images called DotDotGoose. This 
purpose-built tool was created since most conservation researchers and 
practitioners working on counting objects in images were using software 
such as Adobe Photoshop and ImageJ which are not ideally suited for many 
conservation applications. 

Wild Gabon
Charles Emogor needs your help, currently an MSc student in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management at the University of Oxford, Charles will be joining the University of Cambridge to start his PhD in October. 

He has launched an exciting citizen science project, Wild Gabon, as part of his dissertation research and he needs your help! He is looking for volunteers to help identify creatures caught on camera traps in Lope NP in Gabon. 

Read more here: Wild Gabon 


Beyond the Academy: Embedding Interdisciplinarity: The role of Universities as ‘dynamic catalysts for change’ 

More and more universities are embracing interdisciplinary research, recognising that it is vital for tackling complex global problems. 

However, interdisciplinary working is yet to become embedded in academia. Conventional academic systems are not designed to support interdisciplinary research, and traditional structures tend to reward and encourage individual achievement within disciplinary boundaries. 

The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute (UCCRI; is hosting international leaders at a workshop in Cambridge on 29 & 30 May 2019, focusing on how institutions can mainstream new ways to measure and recognise work that cuts across disciplinary boundaries, targeted at institutional leadership. The Vice Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope will address this meeting on 30 May.

The University of Cambridge are working on new approaches to interdisciplinarity and collaboration by establishing cross School initiatives that have demonstrated a critical mass of academic support, called Strategic Research Initiatives and Interdisciplinary Research Centres.

These initiatives address large-scale multi-disciplinary research challenges; strengthen research collaborations and knowledge transfer across disciplines; increase research capacity and profile by providing a platform for large-scale funding applications, recruitment and international research partnerships; and enhance our ability to influence national and international research, policy and funding agendas.

The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute is the academic ‘engine room’ of the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI; – a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and nine leading biodiversity conservation organisations – the world’s leading cluster of conservation research for policy and practice.

UCCRI is part of a new, multi-university network called Beyond the Academy, which is led by the University of Minnesota, and brings together a group of innovators, who are striving to support interdisciplinarity within their institutions and are leaders in sustainability science. This is funded byNAKFI, the US National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.  The project runs from November 2018 - October 2020. More details of the network are available at this link: 

Unusual Suspects: what contributions can biodiversity conservation organisations make to the Sustainable Development Goals?

22nd January 2019

Collaborators in Cambridge have launched a new tool designed to help conservation practitioners engage with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, within this framework, the wider human and societal benefits of their work.

This tool launches on the same day as the Cambridge Conservation Initiative hosts an event featuring Sir David Attenborough at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, exploring the role of nature in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.

Biodiversity conservation initiatives have unfulfilled potential to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals

September 2018

SDG Tool logo.jpgUCCRI has launched an online tool that allows conservation professionals to look at how biodiversity projects contribute to the SDG targets, and a new paper examining the potential of REDD+ projects to make a greater contribution towards SDG targets. 

UCCRI is part of a new, multi-university network that will explore interdisciplinary ways of working in sustainability science

September 2018

Workshop in the David Attenborough Building. Image credit:Toby Smith/CCI

The University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute is part of a new, multi-university network that will explore interdisciplinary ways of working in sustainability science. By finding out what works and identifying best practice, the network will help organisations move from experimenting with interdisciplinarity to embedding it as part of long-term institutional reform. Image: Toby Smith/CCI

Game of Life Training Session

August 2018

 Game of LifeOn 14 August, UCCRI hosted a training session for Game of Life, an interactive game for teaching about conservation designed by former PhD student Josie Chambers (Luc Hoffman Institute). Participants are randomly assigned a position in society, and have to decide how to play the game to “win”, depending on what that means to them. It explores the consequences of how resources are managed for society and the environment.

Charlotte Payne presented with Public Engagement with Research Award

July 2018

Charlotte P

Congratulations to PhD student Charlotte Payne, who has been awarded one of the Vice-Chancellor’s Public Engagement with Research Award from Cambridge University for her work around edible insects. The University said “Working together with farmers and scientists at every stage, Payne developed a participatory research project on the sustainable use of edible caterpillars in southwestern Burkina Faso, and has explained the methods, aims and results to a variety of public audiences of all ages and backgrounds.”

Read Charlotte's BBC article "Edible insects: Do insects actually taste any good?

UCCRI screens The Last Animals

May 2018

Last animalsUCCRI was delighted to host a screening of the award-winning documentary The Last Animals, which looks at efforts to protect elephants and rhinos from poaching. The screening was followed by a panel discussion about illegal ivory trade with the film's director Kate Brooks, Professor Bhaskar Vira (UCCRI), and Professor Sam Wasser (University of Washington).   

May 2018

bv living wall cropped 2

Congratulations to UCCRI Director Professor Bhaskar Vira, who has been awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Busk Medal in recognition of his interdisciplinary research on economy, environment and development.


The major barriers to evidence‐informed conservation policy and possible solutions

April 2018

Sir CamA new paper looking at barriers to evidence informed conservation policy, written by a team including many UCCRI researchers, has been published. 

Read the open access paper. 


We are one of CCI's ten conservation partners based in Cambridge, UK.

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About Us

UCCRI is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre, with a network of over 150 researchers from all 6 Schools of the University of Cambridge. The Institute supports multidisciplinary research on biodiversity conservation and the social context within which humans engage with nature. It works from a base in the David Attenborough Building, which is designed to enhance collaboration and the sharing of perspectives across organisational and disciplinary boundaries. Find out more...

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