Our Mission

To improve the capacity to assess, manage, and communicate biological risks of global change through research, teaching, and community outreach.

Trout - The Center of Biological Risk
Dying Tree - The Center of Biological Risk

Our Goals & Objectives

Biological agents cause many of the most dramatic and unexpected impacts of global change. For instance, we currently face threats to human health from vector-borne diseases like West Nile Virus and Ebola, economic losses from climate-induced changes in agriculture, and impacts of sea level rise on coastal ecosystem services. The Biological Risk Institute will bring together faculty, students, and Connecticut leaders from business, government, and non-profits to identify hazards and exposure pathways before they inflict substantial damage.

Most importantly, the Institute would identify current and future risks and management options that solve societal problems relevant to Connecticut, the US, and the world. In the first three years, we anticipate


  • Developing a horizon scanning exercise for biological risks in Connecticut
  • Creating three interdisciplinary research working groups
  • Submitting 6 competitive grant proposals
  • Publishing 15 high-profile papers
  • Educating 40 graduate students
  • Developing 3 outreach efforts to highlight UConn contributions to the state

The combination of working groups, graduate teaching, and public outreach will improve the reputation of the University by generating new multi-disciplinary research, opening up new modes of funding through both public and private means, and bridging the gap between University research and community needs.