Manchester, United Kingdom

Ecology and Evolution

Language: English Studies in English
University website:
Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house", or "environment"; -λογία, "study of") is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms with each other and with abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.
Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Evolutionary processes give rise to biodiversity at every level of biological organisation, including the levels of species, individual organisms, and molecules.
The extinction of Partula is unfair to Partula. That is the conventional argument, and I do not challenge its primacy. But we need a humanistic ecology as well, both for the practical reason that people will always touch people more than snails do or can, and for the moral reason that humans are legitimately the measure of all ethical questions—for these are our issues, not nature's.
Stephen Jay Gould,"Unenchanted Evening", (1993).
A Healthy Ecology is the Basis for a Healthy Economy
Claudine Schneider, U.S. Representative in The Green Lifestyle Handbook.
We need to renegotiate our contract with nature. Ecology is a unifying force that can diminish intolerance and expand our empathy towards others—both human and animal.
Gregory Colbert, "Peace and Harmony: The Message of Our Discovery" in Photo No. 427 (March 2006)
Solar power is potentially an almost limitless resource. The sun provides enough energy in one minute to supply the world’s energy needs for one year. But turning this resource into affordable electricity is difficult – silicon-based solar cells still suffer from a decline in their effectiveness over time. Through her ERC-funded SOLARX project, Professor Hele Savin, of Aalto University in Finland, is investigating a possible route to solving this problem.
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