The IITE is still in its infancy. The vision we have for the institute is to make it first and foremost a strong advocate for theoretical ecology.
We will raise public awareness of the very existence of this discipline and of the kind of work theoretical ecologists are doing. We aim to enhance worldwide recruitment of students interested in theoretical ecology, widen the range of questions the public expects ecologists to answer, and secure recognition by funding bodies and publishers of theoretical ecology as a discipline with its very own expertise and approaches.
Working with institutions of higher education, we aim to strengthen the role of theory as part of the wider field of ecology.
We will tell the story of challenges theoretical ecology faces and of its triumphs in overcoming them.
In parallel, we aim to promote the development of the science of theoretical ecology, covering the full range from fundamental questions to applied theoretical ecology in a decision-making context. This could involve support to consolidate (and, frankly, clean up) the established body of theoretical knowledge, e.g. in an advanced comprehensive textbook; the organisation of workshops to promote open and productive exchange in strategic areas or research; the coordination of research consortia; or the celebration of breakthroughs in research through prizes.
We also work towards establishing a research hub that brings together world-leading theoretical ecologists in an intensely supportive and productive institutional environment.