The C·I·B is an inter-institutional Centre of Excellence established within the DSI-NRF Centres of Excellence Programme. This means that the C·I·B is not just at one institution, but has affiliated researchers at a range of academic and non-academic institutes throughout South Africa. This inter-institutional arrangement allows a much broader range of research interactions to take place, allowing a wide diversity of research associates and students to benefit from the programme.

The C·I·B is co-funded principally by the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), through the National Research Foundation (NRF), and by Stellenbosch University (SU).

The C·I·B was established with the mandate to conduct Research and Development and training in biodiversity science especially as it applies to understanding the impacts of, and managing and preventing biological invasions.


The raison d’être of the C·I·B is to provide the scientific understanding required to reduce the rate and impacts of biological invasions in a manner that will improve the quality of life of all South Africans.


The mission of the C·I·B is to:

  • undertake research and education that focuses on investigating the changes in biological diversity that are a consequence of biological invasions, the consequences for ecosystem functioning of these invasions and their remediation, and the longer-term effects of invasions on ecosystem services under a climate of environmental and land-use change;
  • remain at the forefront of research regarding biological invasions, biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by pursuing research excellence, inter-disciplinarity, and local, regional and international exchanges;
  • enhance the national and international standing of the centre by means of a coordinated programme of innovative research, the products of which are broadly disseminated in the international literature; graduates who are sought after for their knowledge, creative, critical thinking and for the expertise; a well-supported core and associated staff who are respected and trusted by their peers, clients and community;
  • remain relevant to the needs of the community, focusing on South Africa in the context of trends shaping Africa and the global community.


Our research spans all biomes in South Africa, including Sub-Antarctic Marion Island, and is geared to understanding invasions elsewhere in Africa. We investigate how biological diversity is altered by invasive plants and animals, and the effects these have on the functioning of ecosystems and the services they deliver. Through our research, we are in a position to make scientific information available to assist policy makers and managers with rational decision-making options regarding invasive alien species.

Our research focuses on the implications of biological invasions for:

  • biodiversity
  • ecosystem functioning
  • ecosystem services