About the BGC Center

As humanity experiences the consequences of global change, pressing questions arise: where are ecosystems feeling the shock of climate change first? How are the organisms that live there reacting to significant change? And how can human beings make sure the valuable life that exists on Earth today is preserved well into the future?

The Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change brings together researchers and educators from the Yale community and beyond to study Earth’s biodiversity today and create knowledge and tools to guide conservation decisions into the future. With cutting edge technology, our researchers and working groups use what was once an unthinkable amount of data about where species are, how they move, and how they adapt in a changing world to inform conservation efforts across the globe.

Originally with seed funding from the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (YIBS) and now with support from the E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, NASA, and others, the BGC Center is a hub for a range of research and engagement activities inside and outside Yale. The BGC Center serves as founding platform and host for the Max Planck-Yale Center for Biodiversity Movement and Global Change, supported by YIBS, and is also the primary home of the Jetz Lab.

BGC Center Affiliates

Walter Jetz (EEB, YSE, Director): Global distributions of species and traits, global change

Nyeema Harris (YSE): Wildlife management and conservation

Martha Munoz (EEB, YPM): Evolution of species niches and climate change

Vanessa Ezenwa (EEB): Spatial disease dynamics and climate

Carla Staver (EEB): Savannah ecology, fire dynamics 

Pincelli Hull (EPS): Biodiversity dynamics through time

Michael Donoghue (EEB, YPM): Distribution, environmental niches and biogeography of plants

Eric Sargis (Anthro, YPM): Species distributions, phylogeography of mammals

Derek Briggs (EPS, YPM): Fossils in time and space

Gisella Caccone (EEB): Genetic variation in space and environment

Durland Fish (EPH): Spatial disease dynamics, climatic niches of disease vectors

Karen Seto (YSE): Remote sensing and urban environments

Os Schmitz (YSE): Dynamics of food webs and ecosystems

Liza Comita (YSE): Tropical Forest Ecology


BGC Center Partners & Sponsors




Yale University





Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON)




Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)


National Geographic





Half-Earth Project


Jeff and Laurie Ubben








Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


The Burt's Bees Foundation






National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)






National Science Foundation (NSF)