The most remarkable feature of our planet is the diversity of its life forms, which include about 1.8 million described species and up to 30 million species that remain to be discovered.
This biological diversity is key to a healthy and productive world, offering services ranging from water and air purification to nutrient cycling and carbon uptake for the provisioning of food, fibre and medicine.
Understanding biodiversity – meaning its origins, maintenance, interactions and temporal and geographic distributions – is a major focus of biologists and has been so for the past two centuries. However, with the increasing pace of extinction due to anthropogenic impacts – and a further acceleration of extinction rates anticipated under climate change – this focus has expanded to include threats to biodiversity and the development of strategies to mitigate these threats.
UBC’s Biodiversity Research Centre (BRC) is home to one of the world’s leading groups currently studying biodiversity, global change impacts and the potential solutions to challenges associated with these changes. Members of the BRC employ a diverse array of approaches, ranging from theory to ecology and genomics, in order to study organisms across all of the domains of life, as well as address real world issues in ocean and fisheries, forestry and agricultural, and microbial systems.
Uniting scientists with different disciplinary perspectives and expertise offers the best hope for solutions to large-scale problems.
UBC's newly appointed President’s Excellence Chair in Biodiversity Studies, Dr. Claire Kremen, will establish UBC as a global leader for research and graduate training in this field.