Impacts on ecosystems

Oxford’s research on the climate impacts on the earth’s ecosystems is wide-ranging. Investigating the witnessed and expected changes to the various planetary systems forms the main focus of most of the activities. Oxford boasts some of the leading scholars exploring the current and likely impacts of climate changes on particular species and habitats; each working towards a greater understanding of what is being witnessed and what is likely to occur to these areas in the future.


Much of the research in this area focuses on particular species, groups of species or entire habitats. A local focus is common across research projects as an in-depth understanding of subtle or large-scale aspects of particular areas and this effect on the local area/the global system. This can enhance knowledge about very specific climatic patterns or changes. The impacts on forests, soil, deserts, island areas are just some of the particular areas being investigated across many teams in the University. The resilience of these ecosystems to such impacts is also a major focus of research.

However there is also system-wide research occurring, which investigates the global ecosystem as an entity, as well as regional projects which help deliver information about the interactions across habitats and even across ecosystems, in terms of where there may be feedbacks or influence across areas previously not investigation. Additionally, there are more cross-cutting projects which make important links between the humanand ecosystem impacts.


To see which members of the network are working in this area please go to the ‘People’ page, either by clicking on the People tab in the menu or clicking here >>

Relevant Research Groups and Themes




A multidisciplinary team of researchers is studying the effect of environmental change on early humans and animals that settled or passed through the Desert and how their responses determined whether they survived or died out.

Biodiversity and climate adaptation

Increase our understanding of complex human-climate-ecosystem interactions.

Biological Oceanography

Understanding marine phytoplankton production and the utility of marine bio-optics and molecular biology as tools for monitoring marine ecosystems.

Ecosystem Dynamics

Seeking to understand what makes contemporary ecosystems and how they may be affected by direct human pressures and global atmospheric change.

Long-term Ecology

Biodiversity responses to environmental change and the dynamic processes of species and their interactions with their environment.

Ocean Biochemistry

Investigating the role of marine phytoplankton in the carbon cycle.