Research areas Conservation Biology
Description of the research areas on Conservation Biology
The prime focus of Conservation Biology is substantive in nature.
In terms of landscape phenomena, a choice has been made to focus on anthropogenic substances and human introduced biota. The reason is the obvious relevance of these issues in view of the fact that these stress factors are different from the evolutionary-ecological changes.
In terms of landscape types, the focus is on human-dominated rural landscapes. These landscapes are characterized by agricultural and urban activities, where only semi-natural elements (ditches, verges, woodlots etc.) are present, or fragments of natural ecosystems remain (isolated small nature reserves). Biodiversity in such landscapes is highly dependent on these fragmented habitats.
Finally within the social sciences, a choice has been made to follow a largely actors-based approach rather than a systems-based paradigm. Reasons are the much stronger causal linkages that actor-based approaches allow. The research takes place in two model systems, which are:
- The temperate zone ( Netherlands and Western Europe)
- The tropical area (Southeast Asia/Philippines)
This geography fits with relevant research departments and institutes in Leiden, such as the National Herbarium, Naturalis, the Institute of Biology Leiden and the Anthropology department.
This has resulted in two research foci of the Conservation Biology program: