Based on a personal VILLUM Investigator grant, the research center BIOCHANGE was founded by Jens-Christian Svenning in 2017. BIOCHANGE is part of Department of Biology in close connection to Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity. So far the center is funded until 2023. The overall aim of BIOCHANGE is to provide a profound understanding of the significant changes in the biodiversity on Earth due to climate change etc., and to contribute to solving the global biodiversity crisis, as well as act as a platform for excellent training of the next-generation biodiversity researchers.
BIOCHANGE is centered on four research themes: 1) Fundamental Biodiversity Dynamics, 2) Global Challenges, 3) Ecoinformatics and New Technologies and 4) Interdisciplinary Innovation. Common focus area is biodiversity research.
BIOCHANGE has a broad research profile, thematically, geographically as well as in terms of time periods. At the center, the research projects focus on animals, plants, ecosystems, and the interaction between humans and nature. The center focuses on the impact of climate change and other global changes on biodiversity. We work with biodiversity dynamics not only in the present, we also use past events to better understand the biodiversity patterns and dynamics we observe today, and project the potential consequences into the future. Concurrently, BIOCHANGE is very focused on how we can counteract the biodiversity crisis for instance via restoration (rewilding). In addition, BIOCHANGE investigates how humans cause serious environmental changes and at the same time are affected by these changes. Much of the research is carried out based on a Big Data approach using considerable amounts of data, derived from satellites, drones, large databases, or mathematical models, supplemented by theoretical work in addition to field- and lab-work. The research is not only focused on Danish conditions, but expands geographically very broad. Often we work on global projects and projects with focus in other countries than Denmark. For instance, we have field campaigns in Denmark, other European countries, Greenland, Argentina, South Africa, Kenya, China and – on its way – the USA.
The overall vision for BIOCHANGE after the first 6 years, is to have contributed important new insights on the future perspectives for biodiversity on Earth, solutions to the biodiversity crisis and a more profound understanding of the interplay between humans, biodiversity and the big global environmental changes.