What is Biodiversity and Conservation Research?
Various academic disciplines use a scientific approach to describe biological diversity and to determine the ecological, evolutionary and environmental parameters associated with speciation and extinction. At the University of Mississippi these scientists span several departments, where they study the diversity of everything from fungi to sharks, using approaches that combine technologies for investigating levels of analysis that include a range from genes and physiology up to ecosystems. Scientific results are shared with the scientific community and environmental decision makers so that natural resources can be managed appropriately and effectively to meet ecological, economic and ethical expectations. The conservation of biodiversity, ecological services, and functional ecological landscapes is a shared goal of Center members and affiliates.
How Does the Center Work?
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology Research acts as a point of contact for non-governmental and governmental granting agencies, and as an information clearinghouse for communicating research and funding opportunities with suitable subsets of member faculty. Professional affiliates of the Center allow for collaboration between Center members and researchers at other universities and state, federal and private agencies involved in conservation research.
By connecting University of Mississippi students to the Center through the student affiliate program, we create opportunities for them to find research mentors, become familiar with issues and methodologies of biodiversity conservation, and enhance interactions among peers with common interests in conservation. Through shared teaching and student training and research efficiency enabled by coordinating activities through the CBCBR, our members become more competitive for grant funding. We also see the Center as being a catalyst that enables departments to attract new faculty, recruit additional doctoral students, offer scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students, to improve the development of STEM-focused workforce in our state, and to bring the research activities of the Center members and affiliates and the University of Mississippi at large to the attention of a wider scientific and lay audience.