BEC is an interdisciplinary research group that develops and applies state-of-the art ecological knowledge, methods, and tools to understand ecosystem functioning, ecological responses, and feedback in coupled social-economic-ecological systems. The group aims to apply this knowledge and tools to investigate appropriate management options to achieve sustainability goals that have ecological implications.

The BEC group is the institute’s hub of applied ecology and conservation research. The group provides the needed ecological and conservation insights to help IIASA promote institutional, demographic, behavioral, technological, social, and economic changes that achieve development goals sustainably. 

The group’s key research areas include:

  • Ecological responses to natural and anthropogenic drivers of change, for example, land and water management and climate change.
  • How to prioritize conservation efforts to maximize positive impacts at scales from local to global (e.g., habitat restoration and conservation, and species management plans).
  • How species and ecosystems contribute to selected ecosystem services and human wellbeing.


paper cut-out figures on blue background give high five

10 May 2022

IIASA recognizes outstanding research contributions

IIASA recently instituted a new system of awards to recognize outstanding contributions towards meeting the strategic priorities and values of the institute. We are proud to announce that five IIASA research activities have been recognized in the inaugural 2022 award cycle.
Brimstone butterfly on a purple flower against bright blue sky

31 March 2022

How can we improve biodiversity monitoring in Europe?

National biodiversity monitoring programs in Europe face many challenges, according to the first report of the Europe-wide EuropaBON project released today. The analysis includes data from more than 350 experts from policy, science, and environmental protection practice. The team is also drafting a proposal for a transnational monitoring of Europe's biodiversity and ecosystems.


Water flows through irrigation canals on a farm leek onion plantation. Agriculture and agribusiness. Conservation of water




Rice fields in the north of Thailand. Rice crops in water.

Global LandScapes: RFS-IIASA Rapid Spatial Analysis

Wetland calm pond surrounded by golden vegetation and brilliant colors of fall foliage forest

European Union Biodiversity and Climate strategies Assessment (EU BIOCLIMA)


26 January 2022

Integrated solutions for biodiversity

Policy Brief #33, January 2022. Action on biodiversity loss can be much more effective if it embraces other global challenges.

10 August 2021

Defense of the natural realm

Options Magazine, Summer 2021: At a crucial moment for beleaguered nature, IIASA research is showing that we can reverse biodiversity loss. It will need an effort that is grand in scale and focused where rewards are greatest.
Animals in front of a mountain


21 February 2022 Zoom Webinar

Biodiversity from a Systems Perspective

11 September 2021 Hofstraße 2, Laxenburg

Laxenburg Environment and Climate Day 2021

22 September 2021 Virtual event

IIASA at IDRiM2021

23 November 2021 IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria - Gvishiani room

fairSTREAM kick-off event

Highlighted staff

Piero Visconti profile picture

Piero Visconti

Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar

No image available

Juliette Martin

Research Scholar

Martin Jung profile picture

Martin Jung

Research Scholar

Eleanor Warren-Thomas profile picture

Eleanor Warren-Thomas

IIASA-NERC Research Fellow