Centre for Ecology and Conservation

The Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC) delivers cutting-edge teaching and research to address the factors that influence biodiversity and complexity in the natural world.

We are an integral part of the Biosciences discipline and host the highest concentration of organismal biology academics anywhere in the UK.

We offer a wide range of degreesand have a thriving community of PhD students working at sites across the UK and around the world, from South Africa to Gabon and the Cayman Islands.

As part of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences in Cornwall, we are proud holders of an Athena Swan silver award for promoting gender equality in Science.

The hallmark of the Centre is an interactive, dynamic and welcoming group of internationally known researchers as well as our innovative and enthusiastically engaged student body. Our enthusiasm and passion for our areas of study and the respect we have for diverse approaches to understanding our natural world has led to rapid growth and success.

Professor Brendan Godley, Director of the Centre for Ecology and Conservation

Research at the Centre

Situated on Penryn Campus in an area renowned for its natural beauty, much of our research is focused around local biodiversity, with studies in natural, agricultural, marine and urban systems.

Our researchers also study species at sites worldwide, from Australia to Africa, Europe to North America.

Academics work within five research groups to collaborate and share expertise:

Facilities

The CEC is based in the Daphne du Maurier building on Penryn Campus. In addition to state-of-the-art seminar rooms and computer suites, our facilities include:

  • Controlled environment rooms
  • Home Office approved aviary
  • Two large, fully programmable greenhouses
  • 100 tank freshwater aquarium
  • Teaching and research laboratories with temperature- and light-controlled incubators
  • Molecular biology laboratories including a class 2 tissue culture room, radioactive area and protein purification equipment
  • Metabolomics laboratory dedicated to HPLC, Gas Chromatography and mass spectrometry

Read more about all of these facilities on the CEC website.

Partnerships for education

In partnership with the National Wildlife Management Centre, we have established a Wildlife Research Co-operative to explore and train students in ecology and management of wild animals and birds.

We run a wide range of workshops for students of all ages, from ‘Evolution and Extinction’ for A-level students, to ‘Hands-on Science’ for primary schools. See the full list here.

With Newton Abbot College we have developed the Small World Initiative, supported by a grant from the Society for General Microbiology, which aims to engage students with the problems surrounding drug resistance and drug discovery.

We are working with Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester on a new study to explore the distribution of Lyme disease in the region.