Ecology research benefits from the power of three

21 April 2010

If good things come in threes, Deakin University’s new Centre for Integrative Ecology is off to a strong start, with three leading international ecologists joining the University to guide its development.

Professors Marcel Klaassen, John Endler and Bill Buttemer have brought to Deakin a diverse range of scientific and academic experience, respectively holding positions at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the University of Exeter, and the University of Wollongong.

As its Director, Professor Klaassen said the Centre – one of a group of Strategic Research Centres established by the University – aims to bring together Deakin’s ecological research expertise to address major environmental challenges.

“The concept of integrative ecology surrounds examining how environmental change impacts individuals, communities and eco-systems.

“The purpose of the Centre is to bring together Deakin’s ecological expertise at all levels and across all Campuses – integrating knowledge across fields which are normally separate with the ultimate aim of research outcomes that benefit the environment.

“Environmentally, we are facing dramatic changes globally and not only from climate change. In general, people are exerting an enormous environmental footprint on the planet.

“As scientists I believe we should be working to provide the community with information to mitigate this effect.”

Professor Klaassen said that bringing researchers together helps push the frontiers of knowledge.

“There is a lot to gain from integrating knowledge. A university, naturally, has a lot of very smart people working across a range of disciplines and one way of encouraging high standards in research and academic achievement is to create an environment that allows these people to come together to collaborate and learn from one another.

“If you want to push the knowledge frontier of course you look at what your direct colleagues are doing, but I also believe there is much to be gained from looking more widely at what is being done in your field.

“Deakin’s Centre for Integrative Ecology is an exciting and challenging initiative. John, Bill and I are very much looking forward to working with our Deakin colleagues, as well as with colleagues in organisations and institutes outside of the University, to establish it as a centre for ecological research excellence.”

News facts
  • Deakin establishes Centre for Integrative Ecology
  • Goal to be a centre for ecological research excellence
  • Bringing together Deakin's ecological expertise

Media contact

Vanessa Barber
Deakin Media Relations
03 5227 1301; 0488 292 644

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21st April 2010