The CBA develops research and technology transfer in the areas of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation. At the end of 2010, CBA had 57 full members among academics and senior researchers (including several hired under the “Ciência 2007” program), who hold positions at the University of Lisbon, University of Madeira, Technical University of Lisbon, and at the Natural History Museum (MNHN). Additional members include post-doctoral collaborators, PhD students, and numerous MSc students and grant-holders (a total of 108 members).
The CBA is composed of 10 research groups:
1-Animal Diversity & Conservation; 2-Plant Diversity & Conservation; 3-Theoretical Ecology & Biodiversity Change; 4-Behaviour; 5-Biotic–Abiotic Interactions; 6-Environmental Stress & Functional Ecology; 7-Computational Biology & Population Genomics; 8-Development & Evolutionary Morphogenesis; 9-Evolutionary Genetics and 10-Experimental Evolution. These groups coalesce into three major themes: Biodiversity & Conservation (1-3), Ecology & Behaviour (4-7), Genetics & Evolution (8-10).
Research groups are headed by one PI (head of the group) and often sub-structured into smaller groups, each led by another PI. Besides their own scientific interests, research groups share common interests with other groups within the CBA. Management, according to the new regulation approved in December 2010, is ensured by the following entities: i) the Executive Board (EB) headed by the unit coordinator, which makes strategic decisions and ensures administrative tasks assisted by a secretariat; ii) a Scientific Council, composed of all full members and two representatives of the PhD and master students, meeting monthly to discuss organizational and research-related issues, and iii) a General Assembly composed of all members, to foster communication and discuss general strategic issues. When needed, the EB meets with group leaders. The CBA also has an External Scientific Advisory Board, which is consulted when important strategic decisions are planned, and is now setting up a R&D Consultancy Panel composed of scientists (national and international) and non-scientists, who will help framing the scientific activity of the centre in accordance to economic interests and society needs. The CBA is in charge of several research resources, which include the laboratories of “Microscopy and Image Analysis”, “GIS”, “Genetics”, “Cytogenetics” and “Stable Isotopes & Instrumental Analysis”, providing services to public and private institutions. The CBA also has a Field Station (a unique research resource of this kind in Portugal) with 221ha located in Alentejo: “Herdade da Ribeira Abaixo”. The Station includes an Education Centre and offers facilities for students, researchers, and visiting scientists, aiming to develop short or long-term ecological studies. Members at the MNHN are also in charge of Zoological Collections (specimens and DNA samples), the “Seed Bank”, and the Herbarium associated to the Botanical Garden.