Wildlife Conservation Research Unit

Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. I can do no better than quote their front page: “The planet’s human population increases by more than 200,000 people every day. This exerts ever more severe and intensifying pressure on finite natural resources throughout the world. The resulting environmental degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change destroys nature and impacts human well-being. The mission of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) is to achieve practical solutions to conservation problems through original scientific research. Our research is […]

Reading Research or Understanding Research?

There’s this line in A Fish called Wanda that kept coming back to me last week: “Apes don’t read philosophy!”. “Yes they do Otto, they just don’t understand it”! I’d been all week at a series of productive meetings but the point was being made time and again by various people “I read research”. Later on, I get into a conversation with a colleague on a different issue and the same point is raised, they were expected to read research. […]

How are we doing Ecology?

A couple of things have conspired to turn me away from a review and towards the reflection of a blog post! The first was the receipt of a potential review text titled “How to do Ecology” (Karban and Huntzinger, 2006); the rest comes from our BES Bulletin and following a few leads from the website.  For some reason, the text date didn’t become clear until I started because I normally only look at the most recent publications; the upside was […]


IES, The EU “Institute for Environment and Sustainability” is one of the major parts of the EU system.  It’s part of a wider system called the Joint Research Centre whose objective is to provide quality research to the EU. There are extensive, if specialised, resources available.

Earth Governance System

Earth Governance System – from their website: “The Earth System Governance Project is the largest social science research network in the area of governance and global environmental change. Our international research programme takes up the challenge of exploring political solutions and novel, more effective governance systems to cope with the current transitions in the biogeochemical systems of our planet. The normative context of our research is sustainable development: We see earth system governance not only as a question of governance […]


WILDCRU –  was founded in 1986 as one of the first university-based wildlife conservation units (in this case, the university being Oxford!). It continues to publish research in a wide range of conservation projects. I first found this unit  looking at a site for the Clouded Leopard. It’s a lesson is how to back-track sources to see what you can find; it also supports the idea of getting credible websites!


Living with Environmental Change –  the LWEC is “an ambitious and innovative partnership of UK government departments and agencies, devolved administrations, local government and research councils“.  The site might be modest but it houses a wealth of information that could be used easily by senior school students. There are numerous on-going projects that could provide excellent resources for a range of  ecological and environmental courses.   One of the key links would be to the UK’s Ecosystem Assessment programme.


Long Term Ecological Research Network comprises a set of key ecological sites in the US where research has been going on for decades. This makes it one of the most important pieces of longer-term research. Started in 1980 this work has become increasingly important as funding turns to smaller-scale projects. This site gives a wide range of information on the projects and the data gathered. Some of these places e.g. Hubbard Brook, have been contributing to core ecological ideas for […]

World Resources Institute

World Resources Institute. One of the most impressive of all the global institutions largely for the quality of its research and database. It started with the World Resources series which, when it was new in the mid 1980s was one of the best sources for data, gathering material from the best research around the world. This continues today through its online database – Earthtrends.  

Worldwatch Institute

Worldwatch Institute was founded in 1974. Since that time it’s made its name dealing with global issues and focussing on sustainable development. The main part of its work has been the publication of State of the World series, a biennial roundup of key global issues. The latest is the 2012 volume which focusses on the idea of sustainable prosperity.