About Conservation Biology

Description of the department of Conservation Biology (CML-CB)

Conservation Biology as a discipline

Conservation Biology is an academic discipline which investigates human impacts on species, communities, and ecosystems and develops effective strategies to prevent the extinction of species, to maintain genetic variation within species, and to protect and restore biological communities and their associated ecosystem functions. Its mission is to contribute to science-based conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and natural resources for present and future generations.

Scientific challenges

The scientific challenge for Conservation Biology is to deliver solutions for the protection and restoration of biodiversity and natural resources at appropriate scales in space and time, relevant for sustainable development. Putting this into practice, Conservation Biology is to:

  1. develop instruments, models and concepts that connect physical and social phenomena to each other and to normative principles of sustainable development of biodiversity and natural resources and
  2. develop integrated bodies of knowledge concerning key facts and inspiring options for the protection and restoration of biodiversity and natural resources that are of key value for sustainable development.

The managerial challenge is to balance this with maintenance of feedback from and to the physical, ecological, social, geographic and normative sciences.


Collaboration and synergy requires concentration on a limited number of focal areas which should be defined narrowly enough for scientific progress and broadly enough to have relevance for sustainable development.

See: Overview of Research areas in Conservation Biology


Conservation biology education takes place in the Biology curriculum in a distinct Master track Evolution, Biodiversity and Conservation.

This Master track is organised jointly with:

prospective partners in the National Centre of Biodiversity (NCB).


The department of Conservation Biology has several structural cooperations in the Netherlands and abroad.

See:  the overview of the CML-CB partnerships.


Overview of the publications of de Department Conservation Biology


Contact address for the department of Conservation Biology

Last Modified: 24-06-2009