The Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science (ICCS) is a group of conservation scientists working on applied research at the interface of social and ecological systems. We work in collaboration with non-governmental organisations, practitioners, government agencies and businesses to provide approaches which address key conservation issues in every biome. We are based in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford.
Our underlying philosophy is that in order to make progress we need to consider the incentives, pressures and challenges faced by individual decision-makers, and to bring together multidisciplinary teams who are best placed to address these issues. Thus, our work frequently involves collaborative efforts with local organisations. Similarly, we welcome visiting ‘Biodiversity Fellows’ from all over the world to share their knowledge and experience of conservation in their particular region.
We recognise that conservation requires a broad spectrum of different perspectives, experiences and skillsets in order to be genuinely effective. We thus put a strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity, aiming to resist the stereotype that only a single type of researcher can be involved in conservation science. Similarly, we have members from many employment backgrounds and nationalities, providing us with a wide range of different approaches in our research.
By joining Conservation Optimism we aim to restore an attitude of hope to conservation science, resisting the feelings of doom and gloom, and spread collaboration between research teams that have a common aim. Experience has taught us that while conservation is no easy task, our efforts really can make a difference if we retain a constructive mindset. Over the years, ICCS has carried out inspiring conservation projects across a whole range of different regions and fields, and these successes would not have been possible without a sense of optimism in our work. Together, we can help spread this message.