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Who and what is ConScience?

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Welcome to ConScience! Do we have a moral obligation to find effective and socially just solutions to the global biodiversity crisis? Should scientific evidence underpin decision making? We believe so. We are a group of conservation scientists, including academic researchers and conservation practitioners, based at and around the Centre for Ecology and Conservation at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, UK.

We created ConScience because we share a concern about the current biodiversity crisis and a belief that we can be more effective in combating this crisis by working together. Through ConScience, we aim to combine our collective experience to understand, reduce and locally reverse biodiversity loss, and to support conservation science students and early career researchers and practitioners to do the same.

We have a diverse set of interests, and between us, cover various fields of conservation and ecology, including biogeography, community ecology, ecological interactions, ethology, fisheries biology, historical ecology, invasive alien species ecology and management, island ecology, marine ecology, pollination ecology, primatology, protected area management, social science, and urban ecology. The connecting thread between these is that we all seek interdisciplinary evidence-based conservation solutions to the biodiversity crisis and believe we need to learn from each other, our communities and wider stakeholders to achieve effective and workable solutions.

In addition to providing a collaborative platform to exchange ideas, ConScience members work together to develop and apply science-based solutions, engage with stakeholders, and create opportunities for the next generation of conservation researchers and practitioners. In so doing, we aim to shape research and policy to directly address the biodiversity crisis.

Strong local collaborations are key to conservation success. Between us, we live and work in many countries, collaborating closely with partners and communities around the world, from Kalimantan to Guinea-Bissau and the Seychelles, to tackle biodiversity loss and come up with novel solutions to the crisis. We also work and conduct research around our campus location in Cornwall, partnering with local organisations to tackle conservation challenges to Cornwall’s terrestrial and marine habitats.

While it is tempting to consider the biodiversity crisis as a lost cause, members of ConScience have seen first-hand the benefits that conservation research and action can bring to natural ecosystems and the human communities that depend upon these. Through working together and forming strong, equitable partnerships with local communities, we believe we can slow and eventually reverse the biodiversity crisis.

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