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Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at the University of East Anglia (CEEC)

The Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation at the University of East Anglia (CEEC) is one of the largest groups of ecologists and evolutionary biologists in Europe, with over 20 members of faculty and a community of around 70 research staff and PhD students. We also offer undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral programmes in ecology and conservation.

CEEC brings together staff and students based in two departments, the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Environmental Sciences. There are strong collaborative links in research and close integration of teaching between the two Schools, and some staff hold joint appointments.

External collaborators include British Trust for Ornithology, RSPB, the John Innes Centre and CEFAS. We are also members of the NERC funded UK Population Biology Network (UKpopNET), a collaboration between six of the UK's leading groups of ecologists and evolutionary biologists.

Inside UEA we have collaborations with social scientists, envrionmental chemists, molecular biologists, the Tyndall Centre for Climatic Change and the Medical School at UEA.

Research in the centre includes work in terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems. Organisms studied include pro- and eukaryote micro-organisms, plants and animals, at spatial scales ranging from the microscopic to continental and global. Our interests are grouped into four broad themes:

Behavioural Ecology and Populations. Population biology and population dynamics of animals and plants. Life history evolution, and its consequences for population biology. Reproductive behaviour, sexual selection and the population consequences of individual behaviour, including work on birds, mammals, fish and invertebrates. Ethnobiology and evolutionary psychology. Ecophysiology.

Contaminated Environments, Chemical and Ecosystem Ecology. Biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and iodine. Climate change and its ecological effects. The transport, breakdown, fate and ecological effects of contaminants in the environment. The ecology and bioremediation of grossly contaminated environments.

Conservation. Characterisation of biodiversity from the genetic to the landscape level, its effects on ecosystem functions and its conservation. Ecology of agricultural, seminatural and natural systems, tropical forests, coastal and marine environments. Habitat creation and restoration. Sustainable exploitation of natural resources; trade and the environment. Wildlife biology and the management of endangered species, including projects on mammals, birds and reptiles. Landscape ecology and macroecology.

Molecular Ecology and Evolution. Evolutionary genetics, population genetics and phylogeography. Theoretical and empirical studies of evolutionary processes. Microbial ecology and ecophysiology, environmental genomics and proteomics.

Individual faculty and their research interests are listed on our Ecology Research at UEA page, and click here for a full list of research staff and students.

A selected list of our recent publications, including books, review articles and papers in Science and Nature is available here.


Our MSc in Applied Ecology and Conservation attracts about 24 students each year. The majority of these have some practical experience in conservation as well as a first degree, and about half come from outside the UK. We are able to offer full or partial financial support to some students each year, including five NERC studentships.

BSc Ecology programme (including 4 year programmes with a year in Europe, North America or Australasia). Our BSc programme is unusual within the UK in that the full three years of study are focussed on ecology, rather than ecology being studied as a final year option within a much broader biological sciences degree.

Research Degrees and Post-Doctoral Fellowships

Research students can obtain three different research degrees, MSc, MPhil and PhD. For a postgraduate prospectus and information pack, send an email request to, specifying which of our programmes you are interested, and whether you want information on the School of Biological Sciences, the School of Environmental Sciences or both. But if you know the broad research area in which you want to work it is probably best to make direct contact with members of faculty in your particular field of interest (see Ecology research at UEA for a list of faculty and their research interests). We are likely to have some studenships tied to particular projects - follow these links for information on studentships in the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Environmental Sciences.

If you already have a PhD and your research is in one of the above areas, we would be very happy to consider hosting a research fellowship, such as those awarded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK Royal Society and the EU (Marie Curie Fellowships). A number of externally funded research fellows are already based in CEEC. Please contact the Director, or a member of faculty working in your field, to discuss this further.

Please send comments or general enquiries to

Dr. Alastair Grant
Director, Center for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia

Phone: 01603 592537
Fax: 01603 507719


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