• panamax ship entering miraflores locks

    A panamax ship entering the Miraflores Locks of the Panama Canal. Photo by Kristen Larson

The world’s human population has risen dramatically over a relatively short period. There were fewer than half-a-billion people on Earth during the Age of Discovery, but by 2012 the planet had surpassed the seven billion mark. This population growth has created a new human-dominated era, known as the Anthropocene, in which global interconnectivity through trade and transport have reached unprecedented levels. As a result, global- and ecosystem- level consequences have emerged that include the acceleration of biological invasions resulting from the mass transport of people and goods. 

At SERC, we study the dynamic interactions between society, trade, transport, and species in a variety of ways. These include modeling transport networks and biotic exchange, evaluating business model forecasts and their effects on trade routes and species distributions, and assessments of organism transfers across major corridors between oceans and continents.