Most species and their natural habitats are declining globally and the rate of loss does not seem to be slowing. The implications of this widespread loss of biodiversity are that important ecological functions performed by species will also decline. 

The Convention on Biological Diversity calls for a reduction in biodiversity loss this decade, and YESI is bringing together researchers to address the development and design of new approaches that will ensure more resilient ecosystems.

Researchers at York study drivers of biodiversity declines including climate change, degradation of natural habitats and agricultural intensification.

Research theme aims

  • Investigating the impacts of animal and plant diversity loss on ecosystems
  • Understanding drivers for these changes to protect biodiversity and the benefits it provides

Key focus areas

  • Biodiversity conservation – analysing the factors affecting species responses to habitat change, and using this knowledge to develop conservation strategies and influence policy.
  • Ecosystem services – assessing human impacts on ecosystem services and developing strategies to ensure resilience.
  • Climate change – understanding the impacts of climate change on ecological systems to predict future changes, and develop adaptation strategies on a range of temporal and spatial scales.

Related links

Research Theme Leader
Prof Jane Hill

There are two types of YESI project:

YESI supported project

Funded projects that received support from the YESI office during its development

YESI linked project

Interdisciplinary and cross-departmental projects involving the YESI Theme Leaders and/or close YESI collaborators

YESI supported projects

Sustainable oil palm (SEnSOR)

The SEnSOR programme is an integrated multi-disciplinary research project designed to fill key knowledge gaps in testing and developing criteria for sustainability in oil palm agriculture.

Responses to climate change

This research examines what is limiting species ability to adapt by looking at how they respond genetically, physically and behaviourally over time using historical museum specimens and new field and laboratory information.

Autonomous technologies

Researchers from York have built a unique automatic greenhouse gases measurement system and are applying it for the first time to tackle the huge challenges associated with making automated greenhouse gases measurements over complicated landscapes.

Climate change: the risks and opportunities for species

There is an increasing need for conservation organisations to target their actions to help species that are being affected by climate change. This research focusses on modelling the distributions and likely changes in over 4000 English plant and animal species.

Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity

A Centre conducting world-leading interdisciplinary research into the complexities of biodiversity change in the Anthropocene, funded by the Leverhulme Trust

YESI linked projects

Serengeti fire project

This project brought together leading experts in savannah and fire ecology working in Eastern and Southern Africa to share knowledge and understanding of fire impacts in the savannah at the site of a new, large-scale experiment in the Serengeti ecosystem.

Tropical Peatland Restoration

This project aims to understand the consequences of draining peatlands for biodiversity and local livelihoods, and to examine different scenarios for prioritising peatlands for restoration, according to biodiversity and emissions considerations and local community benefits and trade-offs.

Related links

Research Theme Leader
Prof Jane Hill