Conservation & Biodiversity – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

CMEC > Research > Conservation & Biodive...

Conservation Science is a broad biological discipline that covers all aspects of understanding how species, habitats and ecosystem services are changing in a world increasingly dominated by humans and their life support requirements. This theme is strongly multidisciplinary and seeks to involve elements of social science, economic science, and political science. The group deals with conservation on a global scale and locally with emphasis on Danish and African conservation issues.

The main research questions are:

  • How and where should we protect nature areas?
  • How can we measure progress towards the CBD 2020 targets for reducing biodiversity loss?
  • Which kinds of conservation interventions work to slow the loss of wild nature?
  • What are the potential of Citizen Science for biodiversity monitoring and conservation?
  • How will the conservation of biodiversity interact with other ecosystem services?
  • How does dispersal function in species reactions to climate change and habitat fragmentation?
  • What are the implications of climate and land use change on biodiversity conservation?

Research projects

This project will develop a set of biodiversity indicators to track changes in biodiversity over time across Denmark. Data should be collected by citizens without prior training or expert skills, and we will run yearly evaluations and finally an overall assessment by 2020.

Project leader:

Anders P. Tøttrup

CMEC researchers:

Jonas Geldmann


This project will investigate how well protected areas perform in terms of delivering conservation outcomes for species, habitats, ecosystem services or livelihoods for local people.  This builds upon several ongoing projects and focuses specifically on tracking biological changes over time.


Project leader:

Neil Burgess

CMEC researchers:

Jonas Geldmann


This project aims to undertake targeted research and monitoring in the network of reserves owned and managed by the AVJF in Denmark.  These are some of the best nature areas in the country and include the most exciting nature restoration and re-creation projects in the country


Project leader:

Anders P. Tøttrup

CMEC researchers:

Jacob Helimann-Clausen

Adriano Mazziotta



With a focus on maintaining high biodiversity value in Danish forests, this project investigates how and if other forest resources such as use of timber, recreational value and protection of groundwater may be increased.


Project leader:

Carsten Rahbek

CMEC researchers:

Anders Højgaard Petersen,

Jacob Heilmann-Clausen,

Hans Henrik Bruun, Niels Strange


This project combine experimental approaches to create dead wood and veteran trees with investigations of existing mature beech stands to understand the links between management, habitat diversity and biodiversity in Danish beech forests. The project has a multi-taxa approach (fungi, lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants, insects, birds) and include economic valuation with the aim to develop cost-effective evidence based management tools for forest biodiversity.


Read more (in Danish)


Project leader:

Jacob Heilmann-Clausen
CMEC researchers:
Carsten Rahbek
Niels Strange

Anders P. Tøttrup
Hans Henrik Bruun


This project continues the past 15 years of effort to map and analyse the patterns of species distribution in Africa, in particular for groups of vertebrates, and use these data to assess climate change vulnerability – especially for snakes and mammals. It will be undertaken in collaboration with IUCN Red List and IUCN Species Survival Commission in Cambridge (UK).


Project leader:

Neil Burgess
CMEC researchers:

Jonas Geldmann


This new interdisciplinary project focused on northern Kenya aims at combining methods from the fields of ecology, hydrology, conservation and social sciences to better understand how these fragile ecosystem functions and how they might react to predicted changes in climate so that better management strategies can be suggested. 


It will be undertaken in collaboration with University of York (UK), Imperial College London (UK), VU University Amsterdam (The Netherlands), National Museums of Kenya and Nairobi University (Kenya).


Project leader:

Neil Burgess
CMEC researchers:

Aida Cuni Sanchez