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DIVERSITAS Scientific Core Projects

Collectively, DIVERSITAS Core Projects comprise a cycle of discovery, analysis and information sharing that supports the application of socially relevant knowledge. The Core Projects are complementary in that they allow DIVERSITAS to tackle broad issues from various angles and that new knowledge acquired in one area will help to advance research in others.



Assessing current levels of biodiversity; developing the scientific basis for monitoring and observing; understanding and predicting changes. (bioDISCOVERY)

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Expanding biodiversity and ecosystem functioning science to larger scales and over a greater breadth of the biological hierarchy; linking changes in ecosystem structure and functioning to changes in ecosystem services; assessing human response to change in ecosystem services. (ecoSERVICES)


Developing new knowledge to guide policy and decision making that support sustainable use of biodiversity; evaluating the effectiveness of current conservation measures; studying the social, political and economic drivers of biodiversity loss, as well as social choice and decision making. (bioSUSTAINABILITY)

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Well-defined deliverables

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Several specific activities are common to the mandate of each Core Project: generating scientific syntheses, establishing experimental research sites, undertaking case studies, developing new modelling theories and methods, and creating scenarios. This breadth of approaches is critical to DIVERSITAS’ aim of developing an integrated biodiversity science.

Interdisciplinary, international and interconnected

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Led by a team of Co-chairs and a Scientific Committee, both of which include representatives from natural and social sciences, each Core Project implements its Science Plan to support the DIVERSITAS international framework. It does so by engaging a network of international scientists who share a desire to develop new interdisciplinary approaches.

In addition to organizing workshops/symposia and promoting participation in international research projects, the Core Projects work collaboratively with existing programmes throughout the world, particularly those concerned with global change research.

Administration and funding

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An International Programme Office (IPO) for bioSUSTAINABILITY has been established at the University of York and is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, UK). Negotiations are underway for similar offices for the remaining Core Projects.

Funds for most Core Project activities are secured from national and international science funding bodies, conservation organisations and foundations.


Last updated: 13 September 2006

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