CMEC > People
List of researchers, students, and staff currently working in the center. Scrolling down below the overview, you will, on this page, find short descriptions of research interests and pictures of people.
At the bottom you will find a list of the international and national research collaborators of the center.
|Faculty and Senior Members|
I direct CMEC and have an active interest in all its activities. My main personal research interests are patterns of species distribution, species range sizes, species assemblages, species richness and what determines such patterns (contemporary and historical factors or perhaps also just a bit of chance). Recent focus has been on the role of scale and conceptual formulation and practical design of null- and predictive models that allow direct testing of hypotheses related to patterns of diversity. The natural "other side" of my research relates how evolutionary and ecographical principles can be used to identify robust priorities for conservation of biodiversity.
Miguel B. Araujo
My research is focused around three broad questions: why do species occur where they do? What processes drive speciation, persistence and extinction of species at varying spatial and temporal scales? How do processes operating at the individual-species level scale up to large ensembles of species and species richness? I have also a strong interest in the application of biogeographical principles, theories, and analyses to problems concerning the conservation of biodiversity at macroecological scales.
Neil David Burgess
My current research interests are related to the interface between science and pratical conservation action, either on the ground in terms of reserve management or community engagment, or within international proceses such as the propgramme of work on protected areas in the CBD and the whole issue of forest carbon and the implementation of REDD within the UNFCCC. As such I work on collaboration projects with NGOs (WWF, BirdLife, Conservation International, IUCN), Governments (Tanzania) and UN agencies (UNEP-WCMC and UNDP GEF and UN REDD).
Field of expertease broad, comprising evolution, biogeography and taxonomy of birds. Current research has focus on the tropical Andes region of South America and eastern Africa, and global evolution of passerine birds, which comprise more than half of all birds. Mode of speciation and historical and ecological factors affecting the regional patterns of endemism and species richness. This is developed through traditional biogeographical methods supplemented with DNA-based studies of species-rich groups (in collaboration with other institutes) and comprehensive distributional databases (with external collaboration concerning GIS and remotely sensed environmental parameters). Conservation priority analysis (with links to institutions studying human use of natural resources). The broader field of interest includes art and illustration of books in the fields of ornithology and conservation.
My research interest can be divided in 3 major points. 1) Lifecycle studies of barnacles and related crustacean groups have constituted a major part of my research activities. 2) Invasive species in the marine environment in Norway and other places. In the recent years I have been studying the population dynamic and genetics of two invasive marine crab species and their most prominent parasite, a parasitic barnacle or rhizocephalan, which as adult castrates their crab hosts. And 3) I am interested in how to construct the most reliable phylogeny by the use of data from diverse data like dna, fossils and morphological and geographical sources.
I am interested primarily in the evolution, ecology, and biogeography of birds. My current interests focus on the application of null models to multi-scale patterns of species diversity, the evolutionary consequences of hybridization, and the ecology and evolution of wood warblers. I am conducting long-term field studies in the Great Dismal Swamp and in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America.
My research interest are the effects of climate variability on fish populations and marine ecosystems. Larval/juvenile fish ecology. Long-term changes in populations and ecosystems. Historical marine ecology Professor MacKenzie holds a permanent position at DTU aqua, National Institute of Aquatic resources.
My research deals with the identification and quantification of factors influencing the flow of energy and material (especially carbon and nitrogen) in pelagic ecosystems. Most of my research has been on marine plankton (primarily phytoplankton). However, I have also studied higher trophic levels such as fish (both larvae and adults) and even harbour porpoises. Specifically, I concentrate on the climatic control of marine ecological processes, including predicting the influence of climate change on aquatic productivity, quantifying the role of biological processes in ocean uptake of atmospheric CO2, how changes in ocean conditions influence the strength of the biological pump and the effect of physical/chemical conditions on biodiversity and size distribution of phytoplankton.
We pursue questions about the causes and consequences of biodiversity, from genes to ecosystems. Current research interests in the lab center on geographic diversity gradients, community and ecosystem genetics, global climate change and species distributions, and the structure and function of ant and temperate tree communities. Generally speaking we ask three broad questions: (1) What processes underly the assembly of ant communities? (2) What factors govern broad-scale patterns in the distribution of biodiversity?, and (3) Do trophic dynamics limit local community structure and mediate ecosystem processes?
I direct the European Erasmus Mundus Master Course in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management (www.sufonama.net). My main personal research interests focus on environmental planning and economics under uncertainty. In particular on climate change and environmental effects. I am also involved in a number of research projects concerning payments for environmental services, landowner behaviour and contract design, multi-criteria analysis, environmental economics, spatial planning under risk of calamities, and agent-based modelling. In my research and teaching career I have strived to mix my competences within quantitative as well as qualitative methods.
Bo Jellesmark Thorsen
I am Professor in Applied Economics of Forest and Landscape and Head of the Division of Economics, Policy and Management Planning. My research interests are quite broad. A considerable part of my research has focused on uncertainty and decision making in forest and natural resource settings. I am also interested in the environmental economics of forest and landscape. I also teach in various courses at KU-LIFE - mainly as a co-teacher, and I act as supervisor for a number of PhD-students and MSc-thesis students.
Robert J. Whittaker
Rob Whittaker is appointed by the Dean of the faculty of Science to an Honorary Professorship in Macroecology and Climate at the Department of Biology from July 2008 for a five year term. He is Professor at the University of Oxford, where he is a founding member of the School of Geography and the Environment's Biodiversity research cluster. His research interests span diverse themes within ecological biogeography and ecology, including: conservation biogeography, spatial scale, species diversity theory, climatic controls on species richness, species richness-productivity relationships, macroecology, and island biogeography. He is also an authority on the ecology of the Krakatau Islands, Indonesia, which provide a classic case study of ecosystem recovery in the tropics involving studies of both forest dynamics and island biogeography and their inter-relationships.
Current Research: Island biogeography, ecology and biodiversity. Special interests: Invasibility of (island) ecosystems, invasivity of plants and animals, evolutionary traits on islands, distribution patterns, conservation aspects, succession and vegetation dynamics, species turnover, vegetation analysis. The research focuses on the Galápagos Islands, the Mascarenes and Danish habitat islands.
My research field is on ocean circulation and and the role of the ocean in the climate system. I have studied the interaction between physical transports in the ocean, i.e. mixing and advection of substances and plankton, and the biogeochemical cycling of carbon, oxygen and nutrients. I am involved in studies of the biological uptake of CO2 and the remineralisation of organic carbon and the influence from this, socalled "biological pump", influences the CO2-uptake in the ocean. Global and regional ocean circulation models are applied in these studies. I am the holder of VitusLab, a reseach and consultancy company on ocean and climate dynamics.
Hans Henrik Bruun
My research is focussed on community assembly and species richness, more specifically: environmental control (productivity, disturbance) vs. neutral effects, species pool effects, relationships of diversity to invasibility and to productivity and community phylogenetics. My interests, however, cover a wide range of related topics, such as demography, reproductive allometry, seed dispersal processes, niche conservatism, habitat specialization, historical landscape ecology, conservation and restoration. I have done my research in temperate, alpine and arctic plant communities. A main theme in my current research is what we can learn about communities and about migration and colonization processes from studying invasive species. We study the Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa) in its native Asian range and in Europe. I entered the CME on August 1, 2009.
My main research interests are related to forest biodiversity and its conservation. I am especially interested in the links between landscape history, disturbance dynamics and habitat diversity on one side, and the diversity of fungi, vascular plants and epiphytes on the other. The more normative aspects of Conservation Biology is another key interest, and I consider the question: "why conserve nature" to be far from trivial. In particular, I am interested in exploring and possibly bridging the typical conceptual gap in how "good nature" is appreciated among landowners, conservationists and the broader population. Finally, I have a special devotion to fungi, and are working part-time in the Danish basidiomycete mapping project.
Thomas Hedemark Lundhede
At the Danish Centre for Forest and Landscape I primarily work with the socioeconomic aspects of biodiversity. Like any other natural resource biodiversity is managed within limited economical means. Therefore I focus on how societys objectives of protecting biodiversity are best and economically efficient accomplished. Among other things this involves revealing societys preferences for different species by means of non-market valuation techniques and econometric modelling.
My research aimed at unveiling the drivers of biological diversity for a better understanding the future impacts of Global Change on biodiversity. I´m specifically assessing the causes of Late Quaternary Extinctions (humans and climate change) integrating genomics, phylogeography and niche modeling. This is also an excellent playground to improve niche modeling and getting better predictions of future extinctions when climate change and humans come together.
My research deals with the evolution, biogeography and taxonomy of spiders. Currently my research focus on the global evolution of orb weaving spiders and their close relatives (approx. 10.000 species) and the drivers of diversification and evolution of complex behavioral and morphological traits in this group. Another ongoing research project deals with the diversification patterns of arthropods in the Eastern Arc Mountains biodiversity hotspot in Tanzania. Through a large-scale inventory of selected arthropod faunas within the mountain range we investigate biodiversity patterns at local scales (within single mountains) and regional scales (between mountains) as well as temporal patterns (time). We are particularly interested in faunal turnover along both elevation and longitudinal gradients.
My primary research interests are within ornithology with a focus on bird migration, especially the orientation systems of long-distance migrants, but also including animal orientation and radio tracking in general. Other primary research interests include all aspects of the distribution, evolution and ecology of birds. Overall research themes: Bird Migration: Migration routes; Climate change effects; Monitoring; Spread of bird-borne diseases. Navigation: Navigation and orientation, the migratory orientation programme. Conservation: Rare Danish breeding birds, Environmental impact assessment.
Anders P. Tøttrup
My main research interests are within Ornithology with a specific focus on studying migratory birds throughout their annual cycle as well as Conservation and nature management in general. My main objective is to clarify consequences of different aspects of global climate and different nature management strategies to improve our understanding and ultimately develop knowledge-based conservation initiatives. I am also very interested in long-term changes at spatiotemporal scales driven by e.g. global change studying phenology and mortality as well as intra- and inter-specific interactions.
Sally A. Keith
My research aims to understand how underlying processes generate and maintain biodiversity patterns over space and time. I am especially fascinated by how these large aggregate patterns are influenced by geographical range limits at the species level and by the relative importance of contemporary environment, evolutionary history and biotic interactions as mechanistic explanations. To tackle these questions, I endeavour to move beyond traditional correlative approaches, which are limited in their ability to disentangle mechanisms, towards a more innovative process-oriented approach that incorporates theoretical and empirical perspectives.
Katharine Ann Marske
I am broadly interested in comparative phylogeography, both as a stand-alone approach to investigate the evolution of a particular community, and integrated with other ecological and evolutionary methods. Currently, I am investigating ways to link phylogeography with macroecology to provide insights into the relative roles of history, environment and dispersal limitation in determining community composition. My research also combines phylogeography with species distribution models to detect historical range shifts and clarify the link between climate change, extinction and other potential responses to contemporary climate change.
I am interested in all issues of macroecology, especially the causes of the geographical patterns of biodiversity, range size and body size, and the responses of species to climate change. My work in the last several years was mainly focused on the compilation of Database of Chinas Woody Plants, and the geographical patterns of plant diversity in eastern Asia and North America. My current research combines phylogeography with macroecology to explore how climate and species evolution collectively determine local and regional species diversity, and how future climate change influences species distribution.
Michael Krabbe Borregaard
My research interests are broad and include patterns of distribution and abundance of both plants and animals, with special emphasis on practical applications in relation to conservation and biodiversity monitoring; more generally, I am keenly interested in the influence of natural history and small-scale processes on broader ecological patterns. I am currently working with the relationship between distribution and abundance of organisms, with special emphasis on the assemblage of Danish breeding birds.
Aida Cuni Sanchez
I am an ecologist interested in a wide range of topics, mainly: biomass changes in tropical rainforests, ecological responses of plants to global changes, the role of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) in conservation; and local communities adaptation to climate change. I have been working in several countries in Africa, mainly in the rainforest zone. My current project focuses on ecosystem services (ES) of remnant forest in drylands, in East Africa. We plan not only to measure and value the ecosystem services generated by these forests, but also to determine if current/historical use of important ES is sustainable and to develop management strategies which promote sustainable ressource provision, particularly with respect to water and food security in the long term.
My current research is centred on using economic valuation techniques to determine whether people's preferences for biodiversity and ecosystem service provision varies across international boundaries and, if so, why. More broadly, I am interested in applying and integrating research techniques from across different disciplines to better understand ecological processes, and inform biodiversity conservation, in a human-dominated world. My work to date has focussed on land-use change/management (e.g. small islands, urbanisation, upland agro-ecosystems), avian and lepidopteran migratory systems (e.g. red-billed quelea) and human-wildlife interactions (e.g. quantifying psychological wellbeing responses to greenspaces and biodiversity).
I have a wide interest in evolutionary ecology, biogeography and conservation. I am especially interested in spatial patterns of biotic interaction networks, biodiversity and human linguistic diversity, and how this may interrelate. A main aim is to determine how species interactions and diversity may be influenced by contemporary and historical climate. Most of my work focuses on hummingbird-plant interactions in the New World, mainly in the West Indies and the Atlantic Forest in Brazil. However, I also work with other systems, such as island biogeography of birds in Wallacea and the West Indies and the global congruence of biological and human linguistic diversity.
My primary research interest is in Conservation biology; particularly looking at the link between conservation responses and changes in the biological state (i.e. biodiversity). My work focuses on developing a set of biodiversity indicators for Denmark that can be used to track changes over time in biodiversity at the municipality-level, through data collected by citizens. The project is run in collaboration with the Danish Society for Nature Conservation (DN). I also work on evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas internationally combining management effectiveness data with data on changes in biodiversity outcomes. This project is conducted in collaboration with the IUCN taskforce on Protected Area Effectiveness, UNEP-WCMC, GEF, UNDP, WWF/ZSL Living Planet Index and Oxford University.
I have a wide interest in community and food web ecology at different spatial and temporal scales. I am particularly interested in how communities are assembled, and how they loose species and reconfigure when exposed to invasions and/or environmental changes. My work includes both theoretical and data-driven approaches; hopefully these two ends will benefit from each other and synthesise the field. Currently I work on predicting future species distributions in the North Atlantic ecosystems when both the environment and prey distributions are changing.
Mikkel Willemoes Kristensen
My research will mainly focus on individual migration patterns of small night-migrating birds wintering south of the Sahara. The migration routes will be tracked using small light-weight satellite transmitters, light-based geolocators and radio tagging. The obtained information of migration timing, migration routes, stop-over sites, wintering grounds and winter behaviour will be tested against patterns of population decline as well as large scale patterns of migration control. I will also investigate patterns of dispersal and migration distances in relation to climate in large sets of ringing data. My previous research areas include ecology and management of seabird populations, orientation of vagrant passerines and arctic ecology. I am based at the National History Museum of Denmark.
I am an ecologist interested in a diverse range of fields, including community and molecular ecology, evolutionary biology, biogeography and systematics and conservation. I explore and test ecological questions by modelling data on a variety of taxa including plants, mammals and invertebrates, particularly spiders to try to understand past and present patterns in biodiversity. My current work at the Center looks into the diversity patterns of arthropods in the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania. Our aim is to understand the community changes in space and time and identify their drivers, and further develop cost-efficient data collecting methods for biodiversity assessments.
Erik Askov Mousing
My research interests focus mainly on marine phytoplankton ecology and paleoecology. During my PhD I will investigate the ecological and evolutionary processes that control the distribution and diversity of phytoplankton in the ocean. I will also examine how climate change and, in particular, global warming is expected to affect the distribution and diversity of phytoplankton in the future. The project will build on several different data sets covering multiple spatial scales from global datasets (e.g. the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)) to local data sets from monitoring activities in Denmark. To understand the contemporary species distribution and diversity, it is necessary to understand the role of past environmental and evolutionary processes. Combining historic data sets of climate and species distributions I will explore the possibility to use modeling as a tool to establish historical ranges under different environmental scenarios. The understanding of past ranges combined with contemporary data sets will then be used to elucidate the controlling factors and possibly explain the anticipated effects of global warming.
Martin Reinhardt Nielsen
My primary research interest is hunting, ranging from bushmeat hunting in developing countries to Inuit communities traditional hunting in the Arctic. My research focus on assessing the socioeconomic and cultural drivers and the ecological impacts of hunting. This in order to examining the efficiency of management approaches and their implications for hunters livelihoods and traditional cultures and to assist in developing targeted mitigation policies. Recent projects include: evaluating the outcome of Joint Forest Management in Tanzania in relation to the policy objectives conservation, improves local livelihoods and promotion of good governance using bushmeat hunting as an indicator; investigating the production and communication of information in locally-based monitoring initiatives in relation to the local political reality and stakeholders strategic interests; and assessing the ecological justification and cultural implications of narwhal hunting management regulations in Greenland. Current projects include examining the relations between poverty and forest use in the Democratic Republic of Congo and building knowledge for regulating illegal bushmeat markets in Tanzania.
I have always been interested in biogeographic and macroecological processes and the interrelationship with local-scale dynamics. And I have always been fascinated by the impressive diversity of amphibians. My main research is focused on the factors driving amphibian distribution from local spatial scales to coarse scale patterns. My postdoctoral project aims to study the relationship between overall diversity patterns (alpha and beta) of life history traits of Neotropical amphibians, specifically, and their relationship with the environment (climate niche), as well as the relationship with phylogenetic diversity. I am also interested in developing more accurate ways of modelling species distribution. In addition, I am also involved in a conservation project with the aim of establishing a connectivity corridor across Mexico taking in to account land use models.
Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen
I am particularly interested in biodiversity hotspots and the causes to mass extinction events. What drives these fundamental parameters that are crucial for the evolution of life on Earth? I particularly focus on the interplay between geology and biodiversity. I come from a background as palaeontologist, where I have studied biodiversity aspects in deep time. More specifically, I have focused on the Ordovician-Silurian periods (~460-417 million years ago), where I have studied the taxonomy, ecology, biogeography and stratigraphy of brachiopod faunas from various localities around the world, including Alaska, Chile, North Greenland, Russia and Scandinavia.
My current research interests can be summarized in 3 topics: (1) relations between marine organisms (from plankton to top predator), biodiversity and environmental conditions at the global scale; (2) Identification and monitoring of global marine ecosystems and (3) Evaluation of the impact of anthropogenic pressures on the global marine ecosystems. I am presently focusing my studies on the mediterranean sea and North Atlantic ocean for providing applied results for fisheries and ecosystem management.
The aim of my research is to gain a better understanding of the underlying principles that drive the spatio-temporal patterns of infectious diseases. I am particularly interested in human parasitic infections that require a vector or secondary host species to completely their life cycles. I am interested in combining conceptual and theoretical approaches ranging from classical macroecology, disease ecology and host-pathogen evolutionary ecology. In my current research I follow a multi-scale, multi-species approach, were individual pathogens are investigated in the context of co-existing host-pathogen systems and their spatial-environmental realities. I use Bayesian geostatistical mapping and ecological niche modeling to assess the relative roles of biotic and abiotic factors in driving the spatial variation in single and co-endemic snail- and mosquito borne parasitic infection patterns in Africa and South-America.
Using environmental economics for guiding biodiversity conservation and management is my main interest. The PhD project, which is carried out in a collaboration between University of Copenhagen and Bangor University (UK), has three main parts: The first part analyzes the trade-offs between utilization and protection of forest goods and eco-system services. The value of ecosystem services and non-timber products plays an increasing role in decision making. This requires the development of robust valuation methods. The project aims at improving the choice experiment valuation method applying qualitative analysis and psychometrics to develop a more valid questionnaire design. In the second part of the project I will apply the choice experiment in a number of countries to investigate the importance of attributes in a geopolitical setting on the estimated value of biodiversity. The last part of the project investigates the potentials of transnational coordination of biodiversity conservation applying the results from the choice experiment. I am interested in understanding the implications of taking the objective of a social planner and the resulting distribution of conservation effort across countries.
A central focus of my research is in understanding the relative roles of biotic and abiotic factors in determining community assembly. I am interested in Integrating information on evolutionary history and functional traits in studying species interactions in ecological communities, as well as the consequence of these interactions for ecosystem functioning. At the local scale I use a combination of experimental and empirical approaches to examine community assembly of plants along elevational gradients. I also work with a regional database of flora along multiple elevational gradients in China to assess the influence of local species interactions on large scale distributional patterns. I hope to use these approaches to to improve our ability to predict changes in communities across scales with climate change, with a focus on mountainous regions. My previous work documented the phylogenetic and functional diversity of cryptic species in subarctic mountains, as well as phenological responses of high arctic plants to climate change.
Raquel A. Garcia
The focus of my PhD is on the effects of climate change on the patterns of vertebrate species diversity in sub-Saharan Africa. I am using bioclimatic envelope models to forecast potential shifts in climatically suitable space for species of birds, mammals, amphibians and snakes. The modelling will be complemented by exploratory approaches using climatic data for the un-modelled (range-restricted) species. The aim of this macro-scale analysis is to identify potential high-priority biogeographical realms for species persistence, or climate change refugia. While the results will reflect the exposure of species to climatic changes, I am also interested in exploring the species sensitivity given by biological traits. I am supervised by Miguel B. Araújo and Mar Cabeza. Most of my work is done at the Integrative Biology and Global Change Group at the National Natural Sciences Museum in Madrid (Spain), in collaboration with the Centre for Macroecology, Climate and Evolution and the Rui Nabeiro Biodiversity Chair at Évora University (Portugal). My research is also co-hosted by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, where I intend to use the macro-scale results to explore the implications of climatic changes for conservation planning at a finer scale.
My research interest is to understand why/ how Homo Sapiens sapiens successfully spread across the planet and how they have shaped ecosystems and communities during the Late Pleistocene. I am using paleoclimatic simulations, human and megafaunal fossil record, Species Distribution Models and ecological tools in a multitemporal framework to answer questions such as: did modern humans track specific types of habitats and climatic conditions or did they adapt in novel conditions by means of natural selection and technological innovation? What were the impacts of human colonization of the planet to the faunal communities they encountered and what was the relationship of the dispersal of humans with the large extinction events of megafauna species in all continents during the Late Pleistocene? In summary I aim to unveil the mechanisms of human dispersal and the consequences of our geographic expansion on biological diversity to improve our understanding about the ecology of humans in contrast to other species and better anticipate future responses of species to anthropogenic climate change and habitat alteration.
Rasmus Gren Havmøller
My research interest lies within population genetics, ecology, biodiversity, zoology and conservation biology more specifically within cryptic and endagered species. My PhD involves abundance, ecology and genetics of leopards (Panthera pardus) in the Udzungwa Mountains, part of the Eastern Arc, in Tanzania. The Udzungwa Mountains consists of a variety of tropical forest, ranging from lowland rainforest to monetane forest, and lies directly adjacent to the savannah-woodlands of the Selous Game Reserve. The main question is if leopards move between the two highly different habitats, how abundant they are in the forests and if they are genetically distinct. This will be done through camera-trapping and collection of scat and hair samples for genetic analysis. Additionally I will also be reviewing the sub-genus classification of African leopards, which currently classify all African leopards as a single subspecies across the entire continent. This is to aid the development of better conservations management strategies of the species. As I worked with Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) for my BSc thesis and Northern bottlenose whales (Hyperoodon ampullatus) for my MSc thesis I continue have interests within this line of work as well.
Mathilde Lerche- Jørgensen
My main fields of interest are migration, conservation and wild-life management. In my PhD I am studying trans-Saharan migratory passerines, in order to understand migration strategies and movement patterns of long distant migrants as well as how they are prioritized in conservation matters. Ringing data is used to study how survival is affected by timing of arrival and departure and to determine seasonal distribution I areas with few or no recoveries. This is important in order to understand general migration patterns and how they can be affected in future by e.g. climate changes. The newest tracking technology is used to describe general and species specific migration patterns as well as habitat use and conservation during the non-breeding season; I use light-level loggers to identify the birds migration route, staging sites and non-breeding areas and radio-transmitters to track local movement and responses to local environmental factors like burning and agricultural intensification in the non-breeding area. This can help us to understand whether environmental factors in the areas used during the non-breeding season contribute to the pattern of decline of long distance migrants that we see in Europe. Further I am investigating if we tend to be less willing to pay to conserve migrating birds which only spends the breeding season or even less time within the countries borders. Together these studies will allow us to understand the consequences of current and future environmental changes for species with complicated spatio-temporal distributions and how the willingness to preserve them differs from sedentary bird species.
Peter Søgaard Jørgensen
My research deals with eco-evolutionary population response to past and current environmental change. The overall goal of my PhD is to describe macroecological (i.e. general) patterns within this field. I do this focusing on bird communities in Eastern Africa, Europe and North America: In the bird populations of the Eastern Arc Mountains in Eastern Africa, I work on the question of how environmental change in the past, from deep historic to very recent events, helps shape current genetic and phenotypic make-up. I investigate responses in population abundance to ongoing land use and climate change using two major Breeding Bird Surveys in Europe and North America. These unique citizen science datasets provide time series extending 30-40 years back. Here I concentrate on how systematic variation in population response may vary on population and species level traits. For more on my research, including projects within applied evolutionary biology and the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists. Please see my regularly updated website Marcoecology of environmental change.
I study the impact of species trophic interactions on their distribution under climate change using a myrmecophilic butterfly the Alcon Blue (Maculinea alcon) and its two different host species, the Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe) and various Red Ant species (Myrmica spp.) as a model system. Im focused on integrating biological relevant parameters in species distribution modelling under current and projected future climate in Europe. The project will involve large-scale and coarse grained modelling of potential ranges of species in an obligate parasitic interaction system. In addition, more detailed fine-grain investigations on the system will be undertaken, including habitat suitability modelling and incorporating population genetic information in the models. The study will also include work on the species habitat requirements in northern Europe focusing on conservation and restoration within Denmark.
One of the most well documented and historically recognised patterns in ecology is that clades vary greatly in terms of their overall species richness. My main research interest is to understand the ultimate causes of these diversity patterns both within and among geographic regions, primarily through the study of birds. While the underlying causes determining such disparities remain contentious, they must reflect differences in one or more of the following factors; 1) The timing of regional colonisation, and hence time for in situ diversification, 2) Rates of speciation and extinction and/or 3) Ecological carrying capacity as a consequence of ecological limits on diversification. I aim to elucidate between these processes through analysis of phylogenetic, ecological, morphological and distributional data in both a spatial and comparative framework.
Anne Sofie Bang Nielsen
The aim of my Ph.D project is to investigate the implication of policy initiates implemented to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. I make use of econometric modelling to elicit information on questions such as: What are the drivers of land-use changes? How do policies impact these - and how does this affect the ability of nature to deliver environmental goods? Do policies such as e.g. Payments for Environmental Services deliver biodiversity and ecosystem protection and to what level? And what are the linkages between these policies and socioeconomics parameters?
Alexander Flórez Rodríguez
For my Ph.D. I am going to work in the intersection between comparative phylogeography and macroecology, integrating evolutionary and ecological population dynamics in a geographical frame to better understand the causes and dynamics of species extinctions under climate change. Specifically, I explore how populations of multiple species varying in key ecological traits, located in different food web levels and across different biogeographic zones reacted to Late Quaternary climate change. I also pretend to forecast genetic parameters of those populations to different climate change scenarios. Furthermore, in order to understand the footprints of climate change on population dynamics, I am going to use available phylogeographic data, fossil record, paleoclimatic reconstructions and simulations of species range dynamics to understand the mechanism (i.e, niche liability and dispersal) that control population trends and range dynamics under climate change. In summary, I aim at better understanding extinction dynamics in the past to improve forecasting of future species extinctions and conservation status.
My PhD is part of the project North Atlantic - Arctic coupling in a changing climate: impacts on ocean circulation, carbon cycling and sea-ice (NAACOS). I study the diversity and ecology of marine North Atlantic and Arctic picoeukaryotes and I find seasonal variation especially interesting. The first studies of marine picoeukaryote diversity were not published until 2001, why many relatively basic questions remain unanswered regarding the ecology and population dynamics of this important biodiversity component. Picoeukaryotes have proven to have a very high diversity, ranging from new genotypes to novel lineages, can dominate planktonic communities, and are ecologically important both as autotrophs and heterotrophs. The minute size of picoeukaryotes (<3 µm) makes microscopy inadequate when studying them and I therefore make extensive use of modern molecular methods. In addition to investigating picoeukaryotes I also work on improving and developing the molecular methods used in this field.
In my PhD project I will focus on the oceanography of small pelagic fish species of the Northern Seas, and specifically on the early life stages (eggs and larvae) which are particularly vulnerable to temperature changes. Our aim is to investigate how their life history traits, such as survival, growth and developmental rates or the timing of spawning and hatching in regard to the spring bloom, are affected by temperature and further by climate changes. We will examine the match-mismatch dynamics, which early life history traits have stronger or weaker responses to temperature changes, the intra- and inter-specific differences and what would be the consequences to the ecosystems.
Marta L. Vega
My research interests are broadly within behavioural and evolutionary ecology of birds. I am especially interested in studying how migrating birds cope with environmental change and the long-term consequences at population level. A main topic in my research is to study migration patterns at inter- and intra-specific levels and the influence of environmental pressures such as climate change and land use. To do so, I will combine the use of modern satellite transmitters, geolocators, radio tagging, and an existing ringing database to track timing of migration and migration routes in cuckoos and red-backed shrikes together with the collection of environmental data at key areas. Another main topic is to study the migratory orientation programme using as model system juvenile cuckoos to shed light on the innate mechanisms by which the migration behaviour is controlled. My previous research work includes spatiotemporal distribution and habitat use of Afro-Eurasian and American migrant bird species at staging and breeding grounds. I am placed at the Zoological Museum of Denmark.
Accommodating case studies in Yunnan Province of China, the study undertakes to explore how households would respond to future climate risks. The researchs innovation lies in its attempts to contribute to the recent literature gap by digging into the motivations of households to take proactive measures against probable future climate risks and their preferences for different livelihood strategies, based upon a historical analysis of the coupled human-environment system development as guidance for future investigation. The study will gain insights from the theories outlining the concepts of vulnerability/adaptive capacity/resilience embedded in the framework of sustainable livelihood and theories related to risk perception as well as motivation including Protection Motivation Theory (PMT).
My main fields of interest are general conservation biology, wildlife management, biodiversity and ornithology, mainly bird migration and home ranges. My Masters thesis will focus on the habitat use and home ranges during the breeding season of two long-distance migratory songbirds, the willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) and the wood warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix). The aim of the project is to assess their use of habitats, and which requirements the two birds have of their habitats. I will perform the studies in Danish forests and forest edges, and investigate whether or not home ranges and habitat choice vary during the breeding season, and study the relationship between habitat quality and home range size.
Anthropogenic land-use change is known to have severe impacts on biodiversity worldwide. In my Master Thesis I am going to investigate the influence of Land-use change on African species communities. Using a large meta-analytical framework called PREDICTS I intend to model species communities responses to Land-use under different development scenarios. To validate the accuracy of my model predictions I furthermore raised independent data in Kenya and Tanzania. My personal scientific interests include Applied Conservation, Ecology research and sustainable Natural Ressource Management, but I also enjoy statistics and GIS processing. I regularly write about my scientific journey on my blog.
Kiki Kjær Flensted
My main fields of interest are nature management as well as general conservation biology. My Master's thesis will focus on redlisted species in the Danish forests and what factors affect their presence. The current management of the Danish forests has been shown to be inadequate, especially when it comes to protecting the most threatened and rare species in the forest. To better be able to guide and optimize future management, it is essential to have an overview of what factors are most important for the presence of these species. In my thesis I will look at how historical and present forest cover, as well as forest structure, geology and climate affect the distribution of the redlisted species.
My main fields of interest are within conservation, population dynamics, bird migration and ornithology in general. In my master thesis I will explore causes of current bird population fluctuations for common Danish breeding birds. The reason that this particular project is f such great interest is because many of our common birds have been in decline during the last decades and we are lacking good data on which factors could be affecting the number of birds. I hope the to get some new and interesting results with my project by analysing standardized ringing of birds during the breeding season (Constant Effort Site ringing/CES) from different locations in Denmark. Furthermore I will compare these results with mortality, climate and migration phenology. The migration phenology is collected from monitoring activities e.g. standard point counts, migration counts, randomly collected data and standardised ringing during migration and breeding periods (different kinds of citizen science data).
My main interests lie within conservation biology, population genetics and ornithology. In my master's thesis, I'll be using data from the Danish Common Bird Census and the Swedish Breeding Bird Survey to investigate fluctuations in populations of Danish forest birds compared to birds associated with other habitats, as well as to the same forest species in Sweden. In the last few decades, efforts have been made to conserve biodiversity in Danish forests and my thesis also aims to explore the effects that these efforts may have had on the different species of forest birds.
Peter Zahl Marki
My main fields of interest are evolution and biogeography of birds, as well as other aspects of ornithology. My Masters thesis will focus on brain size as a possible key innovation in the diversification and radiation of the Passeriformes. This involves measuring braincase volumes from representatives of most lineages within the passerines. Brain size can then be compared to geographical distribution and diversity in order to assess whether it is likely to have played a role in the expansion and radiation of the different passerine lineages.
My current research focuses on the range size-abundance relationship. One of the most well-known and widely accepted patterns in macroecology is that, in general, globally widespread species are locally abundant, while range-restricted species are locally scarce. My studies of avian community structure in the Lesser Sundas, the Moluccas, and New Caledonia have revealed the opposite - bird communities here are dominated by endemic and near-endemic species. I am working to understand which factors cause this observed negative range size-abundance relationship on tropical islands, and whether this pattern might also occur in tropical mountain ranges, where similar conditions of climatic stability and geographic isolation exist.
My main fields of interest are evolution, population genetics and conservation. In my master thesis I will look into how shifts in ranges caused by future changes in climate will affect the intraspecific genetic diversity and phylogenetic structure of forest dwelling beetles in New Zealand. Species can respond to changes in climate by adapting, moving or going extinct. This changes their distributions and thereby how genes are preserved and exchanged between extant populations, causing intraspecific phylogenetic structure and genetic diversity to be affected to some degree. Using current climate data and several future climate scenarios, combined with the current known distribution of the species, I will model how their ranges may be affected under predicted future climate changes. Using several phylogenetic measures I will test how the genetic diversity is going to be affected. My goal is to create a statistical framework for how climate changes affect intraspecific genetic diversity and phylogenetic structure, to evaluate the role of protected areas in maintaining the future evolutionary potential of species.
Siff Dea Hjort Stöckel
I have a general interest in conservation biology but my main interest is in preventing the continues loss of biodiversity. Fungi do not only have an important role in key ecosystem changes but also account for a big part of the terrestrial biodiversity. That is why I in my Master thesis I will look at changes in macrofungal species in Denmark. In recent years there has been some focus on the Red listed fungi species, but little on general trends. I will look at the distributional changes and try to see if this relates to the changes we know have happened to the Danish nature. The aim of the project is to get a better knowledge of the general trends in fungal distribution changes during the last 50 years. Hopefully this can help to get a better understanding and management of the Danish biodiversity.
Lasse Ørsted Jensen
The Biological pump transports CO2 from the upper layers of the ocean to the deep regions. This flux of carbon is primarily mediated by sinking particles of broken algae cells, faecal pellets from copepods or entire aggregates known as marine snow. One genus of diatoms (Chaetoceros) is thought to relatively contribute to this process more than any other algae. The wide distribution of this alga may be of significant importance for the changing climate in particular the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Using different datasets I will examine which factors determine the abundance in the global ocean and create a model that can be used to predict the distribution of this diatom.
Daniel Palm Eskildsen
I am a B.Sc in biology with main interests in conservation, biodiversity and ornithology. In my bachelor thesis I uncovered two different migration strategies for the Red-backed Shrike's (Lanius collurio) crossing of Central Africa. Much of the spring of 2014 I will spend catching and tracking Wood Warblers Phylloscopus sibilatrix and woodpeckers at Gribskov, Northern Zealand. The outcome will be a project that aims to describe the home range sizes across different forest types. At the center I have been working as a scientific student help and since May 2013 I have worked at the center administration with Lisbeth Andreassen covering many different tasks e.g. travel-booking and other logistical issues for CMEC visitors and employees.
Troels Lund Larsen
My research interests are within the field of biodiversity and conservation. My BSc project is an assessment of 8 different monitoring methods for reptiles and amphibians e.g. Pitfalls, E-DNA, and Transects. I have assessed the different methods in two different habitats in western Jutland. Hopefully my results can be used in the development of an Atlas Project for reptiles and amphibians in Denmark.
My research interests cover a wide range within the field of ornithology. I am particularly interested in neotropical bird communities, and the role of species interactions and speciation processes. In my BSc project, I focus on the evolutionary ecology of hummingbird-plant communities in The Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil. The main objective is to identify whether species morphological traits or geogegraphical and altitudinal range determine their degree of specialization in plant-hummingbird networks.
|Technical and Administrative Staff|
Responsible for administration at CMEC, including budgets, accounting and reporting, funding management, recruitment, enrolment of new staff members, general managing support staff, facilitating visitors at CMEC and liaison with DNRF and University administration. I have a masters degree in Humanities.
Daniel Palm Eskildsen
I am a B.Sc in biology with main interests in conservation, biodiversity and ornithology. In my bachelor thesis I uncovered two different migration strategies for the Red-backed Shrikes (Lanius collurio) crossing of Central Africa. My master thesis, which will also be done at CMEC, will likely have less focus on migration strategies and more focus on the home ranges of migratory birds. At the center I have been working as a scientific student help and since May 2013 I have worked at the center administration with Lisbeth Andreassen covering many different tasks e.g. travel-booking and other logistical issues for CMEC visitors.
My main interests so far consist of a big blend of conservation, management and biodiversity. I am especially interested in management of the Danish nature to prevent a decline of biodiversity. At CMEC I work with Jacob Heilman-Clausen as a field assistant.
Line Lund Hansen
I joined the administrative team at CMEC in January 2014 and provide administrative support to Lisbeth Andreassen, Center Administrator. My main duties include budget follow-up as well as handling various administrative procedures related to the recruitment and enrolment of new staff members. Additionally, I am Professor Rahbeks PA. I have a masters degree in translation and interpretation (English) from Copenhagen Business School.
Louis A. Hansen
I am an ornithologist, graduated from the Zoological Museum, where my present office can be found. At the Center, I work on various projects for Professor Carsten Rahbek (and Jon Fjeldså at the Zoological Museum), where my part is mapping the species distribution of various groups of vertebrates (though mainly birds) species on three continents. Privatly funded fieldwork often carries me away to East Africa. Here my main interests are various aspects on the montane bird species.
Being GIS-manager in Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate my main concern is to establish a well functioning GIS-laboratory to support and enhance the research at the center and to save valuable geodata created at the center. I have a special interest in data quality and spatial analysis on environmental, biological and geological geodata. Moreover I am interested in dissemination of environmental related issues within geography, geology and biology. For 25 years I worked at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland - and that way in the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy - as GIS-coordinator and leader of projects concerning hydrology, geology and environmental issues.
in my thesis I work with the myrmecophile spider Mastigusa arietina. M. arietina is a spider that lives in ant nests, remarkably undetected by its host. In my thesis I'll try to find a placement for Mastigusa based on phylogenetic analysis of morphological and molecular data, the distribution of this rarely encountered spider Northen part of Zealand, Denmark. But also a analysis of the hydrocarbon of Mastigusa spiders provided insight on how they can live undetected among their ant hosts.
My main interests are nature management and conservation biology with a focus on Danish habitats and the national actions and efforts done to preserve nature. My job is to administrate and assist the Aage V. Jensen Foundation group here at CMEC, which includes budgets, project planning, fieldwork assistance, coordinating student assignments, organizing and enriching the student environment and developing the interaction with external collaborators.
Jan Bolding Kristensen
I am from the Vertebrate Section of the Natural History Museum, where I work with the ornithological collections. Preparation of new material (skins, skeletons etc.) and handling of loans, digitizing data from the collections. Administration of the Tissue Collection and handling all loans of subsamples from this for genetic studies. Participating in collecting expeditions and have so far been to Tanzania, Bolivia, Solomon Islands especially working with forest birds. Also ringing and sampling blood from Geese in high arctic (Svalbard and Greenland). Field Ornithology as a big life-time interest!
I work on the entomological collection at the Natural History Museum with Nikolaj Scharff. Specially focusing on spiders, flies and millipedes (Aracnida, Diptera, Diplopoda). My work mainly consist of expanding and maintaining the museums large insect collection and participating in field work and collecting expeditions. I have contributed to many Danish and international atlas projects on insects and spiders.
Email: japedersen @ snm.ku.dk
My main fields of interest are within conservation biology and bird migration. In my Masters thesis I will use stable isotope analysis of feathers collected from a Danish long-distance migratory bird, the red-backed shrike to investigate the quality of the African wintering habitat. The red-backed shrike is in decline in the western part of its European range; however, the reasons for this decline are still unknown. Factors operating at the non-breeding grounds are likely to play a significant role in the timing of spring migration as well as reproductive success at the Danish breeding grounds. The results of this study will contribute important information to the general understanding of the dynamics of migratory bird populations worldwide.
Anders Højgård Petersen
My current main interest is quantitative analysis of biodiversity data in an applied context. My main focus is on Danish nature conservation issues in general and on combining biological data with socioeconomic and other data in multi disciplinary studies, including cost efficiency analyses and priority analyses. Most recently I have been heavily involved in a study designed to investigate and prioritize the effort needed to conserve the Danish terrestrial biodiversity and to estimate the associated social costs. During my 20 years as a biologist, researcher and consultant I have gained extended experience in a multitude of disciplines within e.g. terrestrial biodiversity, marine biology, environmental monitoring and impact assessment, environmental management, nature conservation and data analysis.
Rasmus Stenbak Larsen
I am building a database on amphibian species distributions, community surveys and phylogeographic data in collaboration with Katharine Ann Marske. Using this database we hope to shed light on how phylogeographic patterns link to historical events, ecology, climate change and human activity. I have a background in evolutionary biology. I am especially interested in invasion biology and population genetics, and I have previously been working on invasive ants. My other research interests are arctic whales and I am involved in satellite tracking projects monitoring migration and behavior.
Ditte Mikkelsen Truelsen
I am a M.Sc. Student in Biology with a main interest in Evolution and Population Genetics. At CMEC I work with Center Administrator Lisbeth Andreassen as her assistant especially on the annual report to Danish National Research Foundation and on other administrative assignments.
I am a biologist with expertise in communications, working in the intersection between science, the media and the public. In particular I am specialized in the topics of biodiversity, conservation and sustainability. My work is focused on increasing public awareness and understanding of biodiversity, mediating research results from the centre and maintaining the internal communication at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate.
As an evolutionary ecologist, my interests center on the biology and geography of biodiversity. In the tropics, I have worked with the ecology and evolution of species interactions, and managed and developed database tools for a major biodiversity inventory. Recent work with biogeographical theory and spatial models, focusing on the role of geometric constraints, has stimulated controversy, new directions in the field, and links with conservation biology. In collaboration with colleagues in statistics, I have been active in developing new statistical methods and software tools for biodiversity statistics. Professor Colwell is currently a sabbatical visitor at CMEC holding a permanent position at the Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, USA.
My research addresses basic questions about the organization of animal and plant communities. What are the forces that determine the species composition and abundance of natural assemblages? How do competition and predation affect local community structure? What are the biotic and abiotic factors that control population growth and the risk of extinction?
My research interests include investigating the effect of spatial and temporal arrangement of habitats on ecological and evolutionary patterns and processes and the use of this information to inform conservation and management policy.
Thomas Krogsgaard Kristensen
Head of The Mandahl-Barth Research Centre for Biodiversity and Health, DBL-Centre for Health Research and Development, IVP, Faculty of Life Science, University of Copenhagen. I have a keen interest in biodiversity, evolution and distribution of African Freshwater snails with special reference to the relationship between biodiversity and health viz. snail borne diseases. Description and modelling of snail distribution and distribution of snail borne diseases based on climate data retrieved by satellite and analysed by geographic information systems, GIS and Remote sensing.. Field studies have been conducted in: Cameroon, Gabon, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Liberia, Gambia, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia.
Robert E. Ricklefs
I am currently working on the biogeography and community relationships of birds and their malaria parasites. Much of my work has focussed on the West Indies, although I am also interested in the influence of large-scale processes on patterns of distribution and abundance of birds within large continental regions. Department of Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Geology: Early crustal evolution. Geochemistry and metamorphic petrology of ultramafic rocks. The effects of mass transport processes on isotopic systems.
We aim to understand how animals migrate and how they survive. To do this, we equip individuals with state-of-the-art biologgers. Data from these transmitters are collected in an international online database that is accessible to the public. Between 2014 and 2020, the ICARUS-Initiative plans to establish a novel system capable of tracking even very small animals. This research will provide new insights into how organisms cope with the effects of climate change, disease, and man-made alterations to their environment.
John (Jack) W. Williams
Im interested in the temporal and spatial responses of plant species and communities to past and future climate change, with particular interests in the last deglaciation as a model system for understanding the ecological responses and feedbacks to 21st-century climate change. Questions include: What abiotic and biotic factors produced the past reshuffling of species into associations with no modern analog, and what new species associations will emerge this century? What were the joint effects of deglacial climate change, human arrival, and megafaunal extinctions upon terrestrial plant species and communities? How well do empirical and mechanistic ecological models predict past dynamics, and how we improve their ability to project future changes?
My major interests lie in the evolutionary significance of the genomics of speciation, the mode and tempo of genomic evolution, and the evolution of gene functions. Most of my work involves applying new generation sequencing technologies to genetic research, and using genomic tools to illustrate the genomic diversity in nature, to interpret biodiversity within the framework of evolutionary genomics, and to understand the molecular basis of animal behaviours and their advantages in species adaptation.