We use state-of-the-art tools and technologies to mobilize historic and modern biological data to understand how organisms and ecological systems have responded to past global change events. This will improve our forecasting of biological system response to future global change.

ESTABLISHED November 2009; Over 100 UC Berkeley Faculty & Researchers

Fundamental Research: We emphasize integrated analyses of fossil, historic, and modern biological data, including data derived from Berkeley’s faculty labs, field stations, the world class holdings of the Berkeley Natural History Museums (over 12 million specimens), and our informatics infrastructure in advancing the study of global change.

Understanding Biological Change: Our enabling framework allows us to use novel combinations of tools, technologies, data, and field and experimental studies to rapidly advance our understanding of past, present and future responses of exemplar ecosystems to global change.

What makes Berkeley the Leader in Global Change Biology? Our unique framework for understanding integrated biological systems; our ability to run forecasting climate models back in time to test their accuracy against the historical record; our tremendous faculty momentum and engagement.

Inspired Collaborations: Our work is multi- and inter-disciplinary, involving over 100 faculty from a wide range of departments across campus. Faculty demonstrate and refine tools on a diverse array of interconnected ecosystems for which we have extensive information and expertise.

Many Labs - One Vision: Faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students are uncovering new ways to integrate across their disciplines - from ecology and evolution to computational biology and climate modeling - to achieve maximum intellectual engagement and discovery. While our activity is currently focused on a limited geographical area, our strategy is to develop the tools that will be used globally.

Time Is Our Strength: We investigate biological change across multiple time scales. Our data records extend from the present, through the historical past and into the fossil record. The rigorous analysis of past change, current conditions, and projected global change will allow us to better forecast the biological response to global change.

Funding to catalyze the start-up of the Initiative: (2009) $300K - Vice Chancellor for Research; (2011) $2.5M - Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; (2012:) $1.5M - W.M. Keck Foundation