BESTNet focuses the relation between human activities, biodiversity change and ecosystem services. The core members of BESTNet are all associated with Diversitas through either the core projects or the cross-cutting networks. BESTNet aims to bring the benefits of this new international, interdisciplinary research on biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being to research students in US universities, through a set of networked research and research training activities. It coordinates the work of ecologists, evolutionary biologists (systematists, paleobiologists, biogeographers, and population geneticists), conservation biologists, economists and anthropologists among others.
The United Nation’s Millennium Ecosystem Assessment established both a lexicon and an evidence base for understanding the consequences of biodiversity loss for human well-being. Follow-up activities by Diversitas include developing mechanisms to coordinate global action on assessment, monitoring, and research, as well as promoting specific research initiatives that address gaps identified by the assessment. BESTNet will both reinforce these research initiatives and undertake an activity that is beyond the charge of Diversitas–research training in the new, interdisciplinary biodiversity science.
Broader impacts will include:
- developing an interdisciplinary community committed to policy-relevant research into the links between biodiversity change and human activities;
- enhancing the capacity to undertake interdisciplinary research within existing life and social science departments in US universities; and
- synthesizing research results on the local consequences of international biodiversity change and disseminating these results to decision-makers.
In addition, it is expected that the network will substantially strengthen US scientific input intothe global-change programs and other international initiatives.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0639252.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.