A blue butterfly on a leaf

The Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) is the largest academic institute dedicated to conservation in the UK. DICE is dedicated to conserving biodiversity and the ecological and social processes that support ecosystems and people.

DICE pursues innovative and cutting-edge research to develop the knowledge that underpins conservation and sets itself apart from more traditionally-minded academic institutions with its clear aims to:

  • break down the barriers between the natural and social sciences in conservation
  • conduct research that informs and improves policy and practice in all relevant sectors
  • disseminate knowledge and provide expertise on conservation issues to stakeholders
  • build capacity in the conservation sector through research-led teaching and training
  • strive for sustainable livelihoods and biodiversity conservation that benefits people


Richard Griffiths is a Professor of Biological Conservation specialising in the ecology of amphibians and reptiles.

Ground-breaking research

DICE has a long tradition of high-quality research among its members which makes for a strong research culture and a buoyant postgraduate community. The breadth of expertise within DICE enables us to provide research supervision on a very wide range of topics across the full spectrum of the disciplines of conservation biology, conservation social science, biodiversity management, sustainable tourism and sustainable resource use.

International impact

Zoe Davies undertakes research on parrot species in Western Europe
Zoe Davies undertakes research on native and non-native parrot species in Western Europe.

All of our members have outstanding international research profiles, yet integrate this with considerable on-the-ground experience working with conservation agencies around the world. This combination of expertise ensures that our programmes deliver the skills and knowledge that are essential components of conservation implementation.

Key topics include:

  • Conservation business and resource economics
  • Environmental policy and governance
  • Population ecology and conservation of threatened species
  • Landscape ecology and conservation planning
  • Tourism, recreation and conservation
  • Wildlife trade

Dynamic publishing culture

DICE research has been published in books and high-impact international journals, including Nature, Science, Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters, Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, and Ecological Economics and Human Ecology.

Postgraduate resources

Conservation genetics research group of 2015
The conservation genetics research group of 2015.

DICE has various long-term study sites around the world and maintains an ecology field trials area and field laboratory on the University campus. DICE is part of the School of Anthropology and Conservation, which is well equipped with computing facilities and research laboratories for molecular genetics, ecology, ethnobotany, and biological anthropology.

External relationships

We have affiliations with organisations both in the UK and around the world including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the United Nations Environment Programme – World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and the nearby Powell-Cotton Museum.

Overseas partners include Madagasikara Voakajy; Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Cape Cod, USA; and King’s Park and Botanic Garden, Perth, Australia.


An independent charity, the Durrell Trust for Conservation Biology, supports the work of DICE through grants and scholarships. The DICE Advisory Board provides guidance on the strategic direction of the institute.