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Conservation biology is a crisis-oriented science. Notes about what conservation biology is...

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The discipline of conservation biology
- What is Conservation Biology?

The discipline of conservation biology

Ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and systematists often suspend judgement rather than reaching definitive conclusions.

  • Is inbreeding depression due primarily to the expression of recessive deleterious alleles or to loss of heterozygosity?


  • To what extent does competition structure ecological communities?


  • What are phylogenetic constraints and to what extent do they determine the form of animals and plants?


We may have strong opinions about these, but we (usually) recognize that intelligent people can disagree with us. Our most common statement is ``Much more work is needed to sort out this problem.'' We seek the challenge of solving problems that are difficult, interesting, and controversial. We sometimes enjoy the debate almost as much as the discovery.

Ecology, evolutionary biology, and systematics - Identify problems of interest, then selects methods of investigation.

Conservation biology - Problems are chosen for us, must select methods of response (management) and identify what we need to know to select those methods.

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