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PEI Logo Center for BioComplexity
Established September 2000; funded by the National Science Foundation

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Biological systems, from ecosystems to the biosphere, support our continued existence on the planet. From them we derive food and fiber, fuel and pharmaceuticals. Ecosystems mediate local and regional climates, stabilize soils, purify water and in general provide a nearly endless list of services essential to life as we know it. The case for the preservation of ecosystems and these services is manifestly clear; the essential challenges are in the details of how to do it. The key is in understanding biocomplexity—how it arises, how it is maintained, and how it sustains the services we derive from it.

This project examines the mechanisms sustaining crucial regional and global processes that underlie our life-support systems. The research approach combines empirical and theoretical work, documenting emergent laws of organization, and examining through sophisticated modeling the mechanisms that generate and maintain biocomplexity and predictable features of ecological organization.

The CBC is directed by Simon A. Levin, Moffett Professor of Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

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