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Research Focal Areas

Research Focal Areas

Research Focal Areas

We produce insights that transform the way the world thinks about, values and manages biodiversity. By bringing together producers of knowledge with consumers of knowledge, we enable research leading to use-inspired solutions.

Because biodiversity is all-encompassing, many of our projects address topics in public health, business practices and economic development, policy and governance, climate change and adaptation, food systems, social and behavioral change, public values, water management, as well as urban, marine and Sonoran biodiversity, among other topics.

We study ourselves to improve the efficacy and application of our actionable science model, serving as a scalable model that other organizations can tailor and implement around the world.

We approach research through the following three main focal areas from which initiatives derive, often overlapping one another (for example, the development and implementation of a sustainable fisheries decision-making tool involves all three):

Diver with net in ocean taking samples

Evidence, metrics and monitoring

Generating empirical support for measuring impact and evaluating outcomes, training and capacity building for what evidence is and how to use it.

Pen with analytics on paper

Decision science and data tools

Creating tools to support evidence-based decisions, working with decision-makers on defining needs for knowledge and decision-making structures (e.g. engaging with businesses) and research into how to translate knowledge into action.

People in a field

Stakeholder engagement

Connecting students and faculty with strategic partners, decision-makers and practitioners.

Current projects

# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Actionable Science, Boundary Organizing and Co-production of Biodiversity Outcomes

Our goal through this project is to gain a better understanding of the determinants of actionable science in conservation. While there has been exponential growth in conservation research, much of this science fails to be translated into practice and policy. Numerous solutions have been proposed to bridge this knowledge-action gap, yet it persists.

Derrick Anderson Leah Gerber Clark Miller

Amazon Indigenous Peoples

This project is part of an initiative titled “Language for Sustainability: Sustaining biodiversity and biocultures,” sponsored by the Global Consortium for Sustainability Outcomes.

David Manuel-Navarrete Leah Gerber


The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is working with Bayer to develop a decision-making tool to enable them to estimate the range of potential operational, reputational, legal and regulatory risks associated with compliance with the U. S. Endangered Species Act.

Gwen Iacona Leah Gerber

Big Data and Biodiversity

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is partnering with the ASU Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center to integrate big data in biodiversity decision-making.

Leah Gerber Beckett Sterner

Collaborative Governance

Arizona State University researchers working on this Center for Biodiversity Outcomes sponsored project collaborate with Future Earth’s Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society to collect and analyze data from local stakeholders on the collaborative governance process for stewardship and use of ecosystems.

Michael Schoon

Conservation Solutions Lab

The Conservation Solutions Lab employs an evidence-driven interdisciplinary approach to bring knowledge of what works to conservation and development practitioners to advance effective and equitable engagement of communities in conservation programs. CSL is a collaborative initiative led by a unique partnership between the Arizona State University Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and Chemonics International.

Brian App Candice Carr Kelman Robin Abell Jonathan Adams Rimjhim Aggarwal Beth Allgood Alejandro Arrivillaga Arielle Berghammer-Zeigler Michael Brown Rajesh Buch Megha Budruk Samantha Cheng Nalini Chhetri Felix Gaschick Leah Gerber Marco Janssen Marvie Javed Jack Kittinger Alice Letcher Chuan Liao Shauna Mahajan Emily Maistrellis David Manuel-Navarrete Robin Martino Anahi Mendez Greg Minnick Kina Murphy Peggy Ochandarena Beth Polidoro Aireona Bonnie Raschke Melissa Rickman Boucher Michael Schoon Anne Marie Tiani Jim Tolisano Christine Vogt John Waugh Supin Wongbusarakum Abigail York Claire Zuazo

Corporate Decision-Making Tool for Water Use

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes and Earth Genome have developed a decision-support tool called the Green Infrastructure Support Tool. GIST has been designed to assist corporate decision-making about sustainable water use.

Benjamin Ruddell Hongkai Gao Glen Low John Sabo

Decision Tool for Biodiversity Conservation Assessment

This recently established relationship between funding and biodiversity outcomes offers a new opportunity to develop a predictive tool for understanding the impacts of alternative investment strategies for biodiversity losses in the future.

Krista Kemppinen Leah Gerber

Diversity and Inclusion in the Pipeline into Higher Education in Conservation

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is developing programs that provide basic literacy in the environment and ecological sustainability, with a particular focus on engaging underserved youth.

Abigail York Leah Gerber Sharon Hall Kimberly Scott

Electric Power Research Institute

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is developing a decision-making tool to enable the Electric Power Research Institute to estimate the range of potential operational, reputational, legal and regulatory risks associated with compliance with the U. S. Endangered Species Act.

Gwen Iacona Leah Gerber

Fisheries Supply Management

This project seeks to organize a community of practice, comprised of human rights and fisheries experts and practitioners, to catalyze the systematic integration of social responsibility into seafood supply chains.

Elena Finkbeiner Kevin Dooley Leah Gerber Jack Kittinger

Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes partnered with the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, an independent intergovernmental body established in 2012 by the United Nations’ over 130 member States. Its goal is to strengthen the science-policy interface for biodiversity and ecosystem services, for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, long-term human well-being and sustainable development.

Leah Gerber

Health Implications of Consuming Fish from Phoenix Area Stock Ponds

Arizona State University faculty and student researchers and citizen scientists took part in a study investigating the health implications of eating fish from stock ponds around the Phoenix metropolitan area. According to the research, fish from these sources contained contaminants such as pesticides, arsenic, aluminum, mercury and other chemicals exceeding levels recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Beth Polidoro

Mainstreaming Biodiversity in the Business Sector

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is working with several partners to bring together biodiversity data from multiple sources and create new methods to integrate the data into corporate decision-making.

K. Selcuk Candan Paolo Pappoti Leah Gerber Beth Polidoro Nico Franz

Monitoring Indicators

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes has participated in a number of workshops aimed at improving the development and use of monitoring indicators for businesses interested in biodiversity.

Leah Gerber

Natural Capital Protocol for Biodiversity

Business impacts and depends on biodiversity, either directly through its operations or indirectly through supply chains. Measuring and valuing these impacts and dependencies can help to understand and uncover some potentially unseen business risks and opportunities. The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is leading a project to develop a biodiversity supplement for the Natural Capital Protocol.

Amy Scoville-Weaver Leah Gerber Rosimeiry Portela

Natural Capital Protocol for the Oceans

The Natural Capital Protocol for the Oceans will be a framework to help businesses answer questions such as: How does your business depend upon ocean resources? How is this ocean natural capital changing and what risks and opportunities does this present? Which resources, information or expertise do you need?

Rosimeiry Portela Amy Scoville-Weaver

Plastic Pollution Emissions Working Group

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is a member of the Plastic Pollution Emissions Working Group. PlasticPEG, who is supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, is developing a global model that will estimate the efficacy of varying marine plastic pollution intervention strategies.

Leah Gerber Erin Murphy

Tackling Rhino Poaching in South Africa

In summer 2017, a group from ASU traveled to South Africa to launch the development of a visualization and data technology project to prevent poaching in game reserves. In addition to visiting project co-partner the University of Johannesburg, they traveled to Kruger National Park and adjacent private reserves.

Leah Gerber Michael Schoon

The Role Natural Capital Plays in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Arizona State University researchers working on this Center for Biodiversity Outcomes sponsored project collaborate with Conservation International to advance research on the contribution of natural capital to global conservation development objectives and ways to mainstream these contributions in policy and practice.

David Hole Leah Gerber Krista Kemppinen

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes has partnered with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a tool to compare different funding allocation strategies for actions to recover endangered species. This tool is called the Endangered Species Recovery Explorer. This work was motivated, in part, by recognition from USFWS of past critiques of its recovery allocation process.

Gwen Iacona Leah Gerber Michael Runge

Whales and Ecotourism in Panama

The Center for Biodiversity Outcomes is working with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to assess the physiological impacts that whale watching may be having on humpback whales and the socio-economic impacts of the industry on the local community in Panama.

Leah Gerber

Total: 22