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Our Mission

We do fundamental research on how human land-use affects biodiversity and on the importance of biodiversity for ecosystem processes and services. We carry out case studies to assess and improve the effectiveness of conservation actions including the evaluation of management schemes that aim to include biodiversity conservation into agriculture and forestry. In our studies we focus on the mechanisms governing the interactions between species.

In our teaching we convey the message that a fundamental understanding of ecological principles underlies successful conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. We teach principles of how organisms interact and how these interactions structure ecological communities. We use problem-based learning to introduce our students to ecological concepts and their application in biodiversity conservation.

Our Vision

We aim to carry out internationally-known research that provides the scientific basis for the preservation of biodiversity. Our research provides fundamental insights into the feedback loops between human land use, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem services. We focus on how the interactions between organisms change in response to anthropogenic drivers and on the consequences of such changes for processes at the ecosystem level. We use the results obtained in our research to help deriving management guidelines for biodiversity conservation.

Our students receive training in ecological research that enables them to apply ecological concepts to a broad range of academic and professional activities. They are able to work in multi-disciplinary teams, develop research strategies and create solutions based on ecological science for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.