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.

In 2019, the UNSW had 30 researchers who were included on the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers List. Among these researchers were E&ERC members Professor Shinichi Nakagawa, Professor David Warton and Associate Professor Will Cornwell. See full article on this here. In 2020, UNSW was ranked 43rd in the world in Ecology in the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU global subject rankings) (up from our previous rank of 51st-75th in 2019 and 2018).