Environmental Sciences Section

The Earth is facing dramatic human-induced global change, including land use intensification, disruption of the carbon, water and nutrient cycles, climate change, ecosystem degradation, habitat fragmentation, and species extinction. The Environmental Sciences Section explores how terrestrial land and freshwater systems influence and respond to such global change.

It is our mission to understand interactions between global change and ecosystem processes, with the end goal of ensuring the sustainability of the many services that ecosystems provide to humans. We use an experimental and dynamic system approach, linking human impacts to biotic and abiotic processes across scales. 

We are a dynamic, multidisciplinary research and teaching group. Researchers come from a diversity of backgrounds including biology, ecology, hydrology, physical geography, energy science, mathematical modeling, and philosophy.

Like our backgrounds, our research is diverse. We explore the role of terrestrial vegetation in the interactions between the carbon, water and nutrient cycles. We are interested in non-linear changes critical transitions and tipping points in ecosystems and climate. Our researchers also look at how we can shift to sustainable land use and freshwater management, and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Key research areas

Head of Section