Scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center (CEC) develop new and advanced analytical tools to study and model how ecosystems and species interact with their environment and how these systems respond to global changes. Using these new tools and models, CEC scientists create conservation scenarios so that practitioners and decision makers can identify the best possible strategies for preserving ecosystem health and biodiversity.
At the species level, CEC scientists integrate intensive field surveys with animal tracking and satellite mapping to better understand the processes that control species movement and habitat declines. To achieve this, CEC researchers create new solutions for surveying, monitoring and modeling species conservation, including innovative approaches such as eMammal, a camera trapping network; and Partners in the Sky, a public-private partnership to advance animal tracking and movement ecology.
On a global scale, CEC partners with large research networks to address challenges such as ecosystem function and climate change. These networks include Virginia Working Landscapes, ForestGEO and NEON. As monitoring expands, CEC’s quantitative ecologists are developing new analytical and statistical frameworks for data analysis to answer critical conservation questions.