kelp frond
sea urchins
scientist Roland Knapp swabbing frog
school of fish swimming in kelp forest

Ecology, Evolution and Genetics

Solutions to many of the world's most pressing environmental issues require a basic understanding of nature at the organismal, population and ecosystems level. Research on genetics and evolution provides critical insight into how environmental factors influence an organism’s physiology and behavior, and ultimately the ecological functions of ecosystems and the services that they provide. Researchers at MSI strive to develop the scientific understanding of ecology, evolution and genetics needed to address environmental issues ranging from changes in biodiversity and ecosystem function, to the spread of invasive species, parasites and disease. The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) brings together scientists from around the globe working in a range of disciplines to address critical ecological questions using existing data and information.