Adaptation to Environmental Change

Adaptation to Environmental Change

The world's natural and agricultural resources face major challenges from a changing climate and a growing human population.

Our approach to these complex and multi-layered problems spans all biological scales from the molecular to the ecological community. We combine state-of-the-art molecular technologies with experimentation, field studies, and mathematical-statistical modelling.

We study a diversity of organisms (microorganisms, invertebrates, vertebrates, plants) and environmental factors, such as temperature, drought, chemical toxins, oxygen, nutrients, air pollution and habitat fragmentation.

Areas of research

Our research activity is directed at three interrelated problems:

  • What are the different ways in which animals and plants may respond to extreme or altered environments?
  • How can we improve the long-term survival prospects of vulnerable species and ecological communities faced with environmental change, particularly with respect to the dual impact of habitat loss and climate change?
  • How can we improve the sustainability and output of food production globally, across a wider range of environments?
AEC news - Agave

Tropical conditions in Liverpool?

It has been an unseasonably warm few days in Liverpool and this Agave, native to Mexico and Central America is making the most of it. The Institute of Integrative Biology has been home to this particular plant for nine years and it has only just started to show signs of flowering. Read more...

AEC news - zebrafish

Social housing reduces anxiety in zebrafish

A new study, led by Dr Lynne Sneddon, has shown that group housed zebrafish show lower levels of stress and anxiety when they undergo stressful or painful procedures like fin clipping than those who are housed singly. Read more...

AEC news - breeding pair

Early experiences can shape lifelong social decisions in animals

Experiences in early life can influence whether animals become ‘dominant breeders’ or ‘subordinate helpers’ within social groups, a new life-history study in fish led by Dr Stefan Fischer suggests. Read more...