The University of Kent

Protecting the planet’s natural diversity

Education, research and capacity-building by the Durrell Institute to support global nature conservation and protect biodiversity and ecosystems.

The University’s renowned Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) was established in 1989 as part of the School of Anthropology and named after celebrated ecologist, Gerald Durrell. The Institute conducts applied conservation research that breaks down the barriers between the natural and the social sciences. Building on its mission to conserve diversity and support ecosystems and biodiversity, DICE is a leader and has been instrumental in supporting academic and applied research capacity in this field since its inception. It is the largest UK institute undertaking this type of work.

DICE works with the government’s Darwin Initiative on projects including work on human wellbeing and nature, human/elephant conflict, oil palm deforestation, the online illegal trade in protected species, overseas national park and ecotourism projects and the mapping of biodiversity through eDNA.

To date, the Institute has trained over 1,000 conservationists from over 100 countries. It was the first Higher Education establishment in the UK to offer interdisciplinary training and study in wildlife biodiversity at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The work is very wide ranging and DICE leads projects in upwards of 50 countries, supported by funding from the Natural Environment Research Council, Natural England and the Global Challenges Research Fund.