The aim of this Network is to train nine young scientists to PhD level in the biological disciplines needed to understand the evolutionary origin of biological diversity. This understanding is critical to the proper management of biodiversity, especially at a time of rapid environmental change. Our approach is to select powerful model systems with which to investigate the process of speciation and related mechanisms and to apply modern techniques from quantitative and behavioural genetics, molecular ecology and environmental genomics. Students will receive advanced training through their projects, through institutional training programmes, through workshops and conferences organised by the Network and from visiting scientists. They will also be seconded to non-academic institutions that represent both end-users of our research and potential employers, including a commercial laboratory, a museum, a conservation organisation and a publisher.