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About the Centre for Ecology and Conservation in Cornwall

Our goal is to understand, predict and conserve natural systems, including the benefits that humans gain from them. To this end, the Centre will continue to contribute to Cornwall, the UK, and the world by providing cutting-edge teaching and research in evolutionary biology, fundamental and applied ecology, and conservation.

I am proud to serve as Director, and look forward to welcoming you should you contact or visit our Centre.

Prof Dave Hodgson
Professor of Ecology

Director, Centre for Ecology and Conservation

At the Centre for Ecology and Conservation, we pride ourselves on cutting-edge education and research designed to address the factors that influence biodiversity and complexity in the natural world.

Our degree programmes

We offer a broad range of degrees, with undergraduate curricula in Animal Behaviour, Conservation Biology and Ecology, Environmental Science, Evolutionary Biology, Human Sciences, Marine Biology and Zoology. Options for a Study Abroad year are widely available and we are now offering a wide range of four year MSci options. We also offer a number of renowned 1 year MSc degrees: Applied Ecology, Conservation and Biodiversity, Conservation Science and Policy and Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology, which attract students from across the world.

We have a vibrant PhD programme with particular strengths in behaviour, conservation biology, and evolutionary genetics and population and community ecology. All our teaching is focused around understanding how basic hypothesis-driven research underpins our understanding of science, developing communication skills, and fostering critical thinking and evaluation of evidence.

Our research

The Centre resides on the Penryn Campus of the University of Exeter in the heart of Cornwall, surrounded by an area known for its natural beauty. Research in the Centre focuses on local biodiversity, with studies of behaviour, ecology, evolution and conservation in natural, agricultural, marine, or urban systems whilst engaging extensively with key stakeholder groups.

Our research is also carried out at sites worldwide, with researchers studying species from Australia to Africa, Europe to North America. Studies range from molecular analyses to field experiments. Our work is funded by UK research councils, the European Union, charities and government organisations from around the world.

Our community

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. We also have a thriving network of postdoctoral researchers and research fellows

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 since the Centre was established in 2003. Although our history is short, we are continuing to develop and grow.