The Center hosts high-level research symposia, fosters exchanges with the international scientific community, and provides regular opportunities to raise awareness of human-induced climate change within the AUP and broader Paris communities. The work of the Center, led by Professor Claudio Piani and Professor Elena Berg, will add to our growing understanding of the evolutionary process and the effects of human-induced climate change, and will provide opportunities for faculty and student research collaborations.

The Center for Environmental science research at AUP takes the form of two types of activity, both linked to climate and climate change issues and both housed within the Computer Sciences, Mathematics and Environmental Science Department. The research will be facilitated by AUP’s new Environmental Science Research Laboratory (ESRL). The ESRL is centered on two state-of-the-art climate chambers, which maintain precise conditions of temperature, humidity and daylight and can be used to investigate a wide variety of questions in evolutionary biology as well as to study climate driven differentiation among species.

At AUP, the chambers will be used to carry out a range of experiments on the seed beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus). This groundbreaking work has the additional advantage of creating plenty of opportunities for student participation. The ESRL has very recently come online with a semester-long experiment investigating the influence of genetic relatedness on cooperative and competitive behaviors in beetles, described in detail in The Center’s Projects. Environmental Science student Shannon Monahan concluded the ESRL’s first experiment in evolutionary biology in December 2015. The results will inform a peer reviewed publication which will be co-authored by Ms. Monahan herself.