The Earth is entering an Anthropocene, characterized in part by the sixth mass extinction event in which we are losing biodiversity at an unprecedented rate.

In some systems the pace of extinctions is accelerating more rapidly than is our ability to even discover and understand species still unknown to science – and their potential contributions to public health, food security and mitigation of global changes.

The Institute is one of the largest global groups of biodiversity scientists working across ecosystems from ridge to reef. We are describing and monitoring species and communities of plants, microbes, amphibians, reptiles, fish and marine mammals around the globe - from the Caribbean across the Amazon to Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In so doing, we are improving our understanding of current biodiversity and its contributions to ecosystem services.

We are providing the foundation for conservation and management of threatened species and habitats across the world.

Students, Volunteers and Community Members: Get Involved  

Featured Projects

  • DIADEMA Project

    Biodiversity in Amazonia is impressive. Our scientists, through the "Dissecting Amazonian Diversity by Enhancing a Multiple-taxa Approach" (DIADEMA) project, are working on collating a comprehensive evaluation of tropical biodiversity in French Guiana across geographic and environmental gradients.

  • Bioluminescence and Light Detection in the Deep Sea

    Our scientists explore why certain deep sea creatures glow. Almost 80% of organisms living in the ocean's "twilight zone" bioluminesce. We study the workings behind why this trait is so essential to these deep sea creatures' very survival.

  • Orchid Conservation in the Everglades

    The Everglades is known for its sweeping sawgrass and elusive wildlife. But the national park is also home to rare and endangered orchids. Our scientists are studying the impact that extreme storms, like Hurricane Irma, have on the threatened plants.

Related Programs & Centers

Our ongoing educational, research and community initiatives are organized within thematic programs and centers which bring together experts from across the Institute of Environment.

  • Florida Coastal Everglades LTER

    Our Florida Coastal Everglades Long Term Ecological Research Program is committed to the preservation and protection of America's Everglades. The survival of the iconic national park relies on the diverse array of plants and animals that live there. Our scientists are ensuring that these species survive and thrive.

  • International Center for Tropical Botany at The Kampong

    Our International Center for Tropical Botany at the Kampong focuses on training the next generation of biodiversity scientists. Through research and education, we are saving plants and saving lives. Our researchers study terrestrial ecosystems in order to preserve them for future generations.

  • Medina Aquarius Program

    Our Medina Aquarius Program is dedicated to the study and preservation of marine ecosystems with the world's only undersea research laboratory, Aquarius Reef Base. Our scientists are dedicated to protecting our marine life and the biodiversity of our oceans.