Ecology and Conservation


Researchers in the Ecology and Conservation section study the relationships between organisms and their environment at a wide variety of spatial and temporal scales. We investigate the factors that determine the abundance and distribution of species on our planet and how they are affected by environmental change. 

Our Section's researchers work in a diverse range of ecosystems all over the world from the poles to the tropics, and in terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems. Among the many research questions we tackle are:

  • How can so many species coexist in tropical rainforests?
  • Why are high-diversity ecosystems more productive than low-diversity ones?
  • How are populations evolving as the climate changes?
  • How can we best design conservation interventions to improve their effectiveness?
  • What determines the resilience of natural systems to external shocks?
  • How can environmental resources be managed to maximise conservation and human welfare outcomes?   

Engaging with local communities and stakeholders, our researchers gather the evidence to inform effective pathways towards a ‘nature-positive’ world, influencing policy and practice in the UK and internationally.

Find out more about the research in this Section by browsing our publications and recent news.

Professor Claudio Sillero | Section Head

claudio sillero

“At Oxford we are at the forefront of addressing global challenges in biodiversity conservation and gaining a better understanding of the complex ecological processes in the natural world.”

Claudio Sillero