Ecosystems, People & Resilience

Amidst the current climate crisis, we are also facing an ongoing and intensifying ecological crisis. A million species are at risk of extinction due to human activity, jeopardizing the invaluable contributions to natural and human well-being. Securing people’s rights to live in a healthy and sustainable environment has never been more important. Nor has work to improve the resilience of people and ecosystems to climate and other risks. 

IRES Researchers work to understand how people interact with ecosystems, how nature contributes to human well-being and how people, human activity, and built environments can either degrade or  sustain nature. In partnership with communities, governments, and other stakeholders, we work to improve the resilience of our socio-ecological systems.


Core faculty:

David Boyd, Navin Ramankutty, Leila Harris, Amanda Giang, Hadi Dowlatabadi, Claire Kremen, Mark Johnson, Terre SatterfieldKai ChanStephanie ChangHannah Wittman



Diversifying agricultural landscapes of British Columbia

This project investigates how diversifying crop and non-crop vegetation in British Columbia can affect ecosystem services like crop pollination and pest control, input use and profitability, and barriers and opportunities for adoption of more sustainable farming practices. The project will also investigate how use of such practices can affect wildlife use of farming landscapes as habitat and movement corridors.


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Re-wilding kelp forests and coastal ecosystem services

Ecosystems provide crucial contributions to people, but they many have been degraded by a variety of human activities. This project investigates how re-wildling of coastal ecosystems can change the structure of those systems and the services they provide, with the return of sea otters and even restoration of processes based on now-extinct Steller’s sea cows.


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Resilient-C: Discover communities with similar coastal hazard profiles to your own

How can we connect coastal communities with similar profile hazards in order to create resillient coastal networks?

Resilient-C is a free online platform that helps coastal communities in Canada to determine which other communities are most like their own when it comes to coastal hazards. This platform can help communities discover other locations that face similar hazard vulnerabilities, discover what actions these communities have taken to address coastal risks, and create resilience networks that span both the Pacific and Altantic coasts.


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