Imperial College is one of the world’s leading institutions of higher education and research. The Department of Life Sciences hosts large research programmes inter alia in population and conservation biology, and large-scale field experiments aimed at understanding the consequences of perturbations to climate, the nitrogen cycle and atmospheric pollutants for ecosystem processes and biodiversity. The Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial is a new UK focus for interdisciplinary research on climate change and its implications. The institute is a research hub for the European Institute of Technology’s recently established Knowledge and Innovation Community in climate change, and a founding participant in the Planetary Skin Initiative (PSI). The PSI is a global collaboration involving Cisco and NASA which aims to “join up” next-generation tools for Earth Observation and the modelling of physical, biological and human processes at the land surface.