Evolution is responsible for all of the biological diversity in the natural world and the fossil record. Evolution occurs within the context of ecological interactions between an organism and its environment. The most exciting research in whole organism biology is at the intersection of how organisms interact with their biological and physical environment (Ecology) and the way in which these interactions effect adaptive change across generations (Evolutionary Biology).

The Centre's purpose is to build capacity for and quality of research, including postgraduate research and supervision. There are thirteen labs operating under the auspices of the Centre and more than sixteen major research projects.