Evolutionary Ecology, Genetics and Behaviour

The School of BEES hosts an important research cluster in evolutionary ecology, genetics, and behavioural ecology. Research systems include a range of terrestrial and marine invertebrates, vertebrates and plants. The Evolution & Ecology Research Centre comprises a number of academic staff members from BEES, as well as other schools within the UNSW.

Terrestrial and Marine Conservation and Ecology

There are major strengths in various aspects of terrestrial and marine ecosystems and our research involves both fundamental studies in ecology through to conservation and management. Part of this research involves understanding the effects of environmental change on ecosystems and implications for their sustainability.

Natural Resources and Environments

This broad area of research in the school ranges from mineral deposit studies through to water resources, coastal resource management and natural hazards. Research includes both the physical and the human aspects of resource use and interaction. The group within BEES is perhaps unique within Australia in its integrated, multidisciplinary focus on interactions at the soil/plant/water interface and related human processes.


The biological aspects of this area of research spans the first appearance of life through to hominid evolution, with a focus on the Australian megafauna. The physical aspects include analysis of the extent and effect of climatic changes in the Archaean at one extreme and the Quaternary at the other.

Spatial Information Systems

Apart from some fundamental studies on both remote sensing and GIS techniques, this area supports much of the research undertaken elsewhere in the School. Current research areas of research include radar methods and mapping changes in biological diversity at local, regional and global scales.

Environmental Management Policy

In the 21st century, environmental concerns and more broadly sustainability are providing both greater constraints and greater opportunities for businesses, governments and NGOs. Current interdisciplinary research areas include: ecologically sustainable and socially just development; environmental assessment and management, sustainable land use management, natural resources, energy and urban transportation: technology assessment, policies and strategies for implementation; indigenous and local/traditional ecological knowledge; and biodiversity.