The Institute of Life and Earth Sciences (ILES) at the University of Gibraltar is one of its main research supports. It is concerned with the physical and natural sciences and the interaction of these two branches of Natural Science. The institute is interdisciplinary by nature, with a focus on biology, geology and the environmental science. Such disciplines as ecology, evolution, palaeontology, geomorphology, conservation biology, climatology and soil science form the core of this research.

The Aim

A major aim is to promote the interaction of these core research subjects to provide pure and applied outcomes. Developed by members of the institute and forming a major component of most of their research is the four-dimensional approach to ecology which incorporates a historical perspective. This approach incorporates a temporal window into our understanding of present-day phenomena with important consequences, and insights, into our understanding in such diverse fields as Conservation Biology and Climate Science. In turn, the approach can have significant applications, for example in studies of sea level change, invasive species, species re-introductions or human health.

The Institute centres its activities on areas of research that focus and draw from Gibraltar’s geographical context, in particular the region of the Strait of Gibraltar as bridge and barrier throughout the Pleistocene and Holocene. Migration studies, historical biogeography (including the study of glacial refugia) and climate impact studies are examples of pertinent areas of research.

The University of Gibraltar works closely with the Gibraltar National Museum, Gibraltar Botanic Gardens and HM Government of Gibraltar’s Department of the Environment and Climate Change as Key Associate Campuses within the Institute of Life and Earth Sciences.

Resources at the Gibraltar National Museum, Gibraltar Garrison Library and the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, including their extensive collections, are available for study to University of Gibraltar PhD Researchers.

An Expert Team

The Institute is headed Beacon Professor Clive Finlayson, Director of The Gibraltar National Museum. His main areas of research are the biogeography of hominins, avian biogeography and evolutionary ecology.
Associate Researchers