It has never been more exciting, or urgent, time to be a biodiversity scientist.
Building on a strong foundation of evolutionary biology and collections-based research, innovative capabilities in biodiversity science have rapidly emerged at the boundary of genomics and spatial ecology.
To capitalise on this requires novel cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaborations, as well as enabling technology, bioinformatics and methods of interference. The Centre for Biodiveristy Analysis has embraced this great intellectual challenge, linking previously distinct fields of research, both within and across institutions.
The advances in biodiversity science will transform our understanding of biodiversity by determining:
where biodiversity is concentrated - hotspots of species and genetic endemism;
how, through past environmental change and evolutionary processes, it came to be there; and
what we can predict about biodiversity response to future environmental change.
Knowledge obtained by collaborative CBA research will be valuable in the conservation and management of our unique biota in the face of the rapid changes they are now facing. Another imperative, therefore, is to transfer this new information to policy makers and managers based on their needs.