The BEC Group develops and applies state-of-the art ecological knowledge, methods, and tools to understand ecosystem functioning, biodiversity change, and feedbacks in coupled social-economic-ecological systems. We use this knowledge to develop management options to achieve biodiversity and sustainability goals  

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.

Models, tools, datasets


Integrated model for BiodIversity distribution projectionS (ibis.iSDM)

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

Plant Functional Acclimation and Trait Evolution (PlantFATE)


Chamois picture taken near the Rax

Designing a resilient and coherent Trans-European Network for Nature and People (NaturaConnect)

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

European Union Biodiversity and Climate strategies Assessment (BIOCLIMA)




Resilience of Ecosystem Services provided by Intact and Sustainably managed Terrestrial ecosystems (RESIST)


Juliette Martin profile picture

Juliette Martin

Research Scholar (BEC, EQU)

Laura Graham profile picture

Laura Graham

Guest Research Scholar (BEC)

Matea Osti profile picture

Matea Osti

Project Officer (BEC)

Piero Visconti profile picture

Piero Visconti

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar (BEC)


Dehydrated earth or farmland with corn plant struggling for life in dry cracked earth.

25 April 2024

Climate change could become the main driver of biodiversity decline by mid-century

Global biodiversity has declined between 2% and 11% during the 20th century due to land-use change alone, according to a large multi-model study published in Science. The projections show that climate change could become the main driver of biodiversity decline by the mid-21st century.
Red amazonian tree frog on a green branch at night

17 November 2023

Prioritizing land to avoid species extinction

Amid an alarming surge in global habitat destruction and species extinction, new research by an international team of scientists proposes a new global approach to choosing protected lands which could reduce species extinction risk twice as efficiently as current methods.
Rubber tree plantation

02 November 2023

Rubber trees and deforestation: quantifying the impact of rubber production on tropical forests and biodiversity

Two new studies produced by an international team, including a scientist working in partnership with IIASA, demonstrate that the impact of the global rubber trade on forests and biodiversity has been substantially underestimated and new sustainable solutions are urgently needed to address this problem.



Butterfly on a pink flower

17 July 2024

Biodiversity lessons from nature

IIASA researchers Silvia Artuso and Juliette Martin reflect on a recent workshop presented at the Institute as part of the IIASA School Engagement Initiative, during which they introduced students to systems analysis and took them on an adventure to explore the amazing biodiversity of Laxenburg park.

27 June 2024


In the fairSTREAM project, IIASA researchers from the Equity and Justice, Water Security, and Biodiversity, Ecology, and Conservation research groups aim to address issues of fairness. This is crucial for managing risks in nexus challenges where conflicting views on procedural and outcome fairness often remain unresolved and jeopardize finding solutions.