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 are rapidly emerging 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 CBA embraces this great intellectual challenge, linking previously distinct fields of research.
This rapidly expanding field of 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.
As a long-isolated and mega-diverse continent, Australia is an ideal template for such studies.
Knowledge obtained by collaborative CBA research will be valuable in the conservation and management of our unique biota in the face of rapid change. Another imperative, therefore, is to transfer this new information to policy makers and managers based on their needs.