Science puts BU research on world stage

The latest BU-authored paper in Science , one of the world’s highest rated journals for research, is published this week (Friday, 28 August).

The paper, entitled “Enhancement of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services by Ecological Restoration: A Meta-Analysis”, features the contributions of leading environmental conservationists Professor Adrian Newton and Dr Anita Diaz from BU’s Centre for Conservation Ecology and Environmental Change (CEEC).

Their research shows that ecological restoration in areas of environmental degradation around the world can help reverse global biodiversity losses whilst promoting the recovery of ecosystem services.

The research team, comprised of experts from BU, the University of Alcalá in Spain and the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), analysed results from 89 restoration assessments carried out in a wide range of ecosystem types across the globe.

On average, ecological restoration increased provision of biodiversity and ecosystem services by 44% and 25% respectively. Increases in biodiversity and ecosystem service measures following restoration were positively correlated. However, values of both remained lower in restored than in intact (undamaged) reference ecosystems.

“The research suggests that restoration can offer a ‘win-win’ solution, by increasing the provision of environmental benefits to people, while at the same time increasing biodiversity,” said Professor Newton.

Professor Newton and Dr Diaz join their colleagues Professor Matthew Bennett and Professor Ralph Clarke from BU’s School of Conservation Sciences with papers published during 2009 in Science, one of the world’s highest rated journals for research.

In February, Professor Bennett became the first BU academic to author a paper in Science. His research, with colleagues from the US and Africa, featured on the cover of Science – another BU first – following the discovery and analysis of hominin footprints in Kenya.

Professor Clarke followed in May, joining colleagues from the University of Oxford and the CEH as part of a major paper in Science relating to the reintroduction to the

In the UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) of 2008, BU emerged as the 4th most improved university in the UK for the quality of its research. In particular, BU’s work in the field of Geographical and Environmental Sciences features research assessed at 4* indicating expertise at the highest international level.