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.
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.
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.
Jette Bredahl Jacobsen
I am professor in economics and management of ecosystem services. My research interests cover a broad range of topics of human-nature interactions. I work with the valuation of ecosystem services, with landowners decisions-making, with adaptation strategies to climate change and broader with decision making under uncertainty mainly in relation to forestry. I teach on the master programme of Forest and Nature Management, Sustainable Forest and Nature Mangement and Sustainable Tropical Forest Management and also part of courses taken by MSc students from Nature Management and Environmental and Resource Economics.
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.
My research interests span several broadly interrelated themes within biogeography and macroecology. I have a long-standing obsession with island biogeography, having worked extensively on the successional dynamics of the Krakatau system and the much longer-scale dynamics of islands in Macaronesia. Together with my collaborators I have been working to develop island biogeographical theory to encompass multiple scales of process from ecological processes in individual trees and habitat islands up to evolutionary time scales on oceanic islands. Our work has also focussed on classic macroecological patterns of species abundance distributions, island speciesarea relationships, island assembly and disassembly. I am also interested in the development of the disciplinary area of conservation biogeography. I hold the position of Professor of Biogeography at the University of Oxford and am an official Fellow of St Edmund Hall, also in the University of Oxford. Web page.
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.
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.
Aimée T. Classen
Broadly, we use experiments, observations, and models to explore and predict how ecosystems function now and in the future. We focus on the interactions between above- and below-ground biotic communities and how and when changes in abiotic processes might alter those interactions. Three general questions underly most of our work: (1) How will the direct and interactive impacts of climate change alter the above- and below-ground composition and function of ecosystems?, (2) When does changing biodiversity in ecosystems, such as shifts in plants and microbial communities shape ecosystem function?, and (3) How do plant and soil microbial traits influence ecosystem function and ecosystem trajectories under global change?
Im interested in the geography of societies and the species that live with them. Sometimes the societies I study are human, other times those of insects including ants and bees. Throughout my work I engage the public in doing science, be in helping to generate hypotheses, collecting data or even analyses. Me and my yourwildlife.org team are now working to develop new public science projects with the Danish Natural History Museum, projects based in Denmark but with a global reach. In the context of this new work Im particularly interested in the unusual species with the species traits necessary to live with and on Danes. Im the author of three books, most recently, The Man Who Touched His Own Heart (http://www.robrdunn.com/books/the-man-who-touched-his-own-heart/).
I study how species assemble into ecological communities, with a focus on when and why the structure and function of communities are contingent on the past history of species immigration. I use experimental, theoretical, and comparative methods, involving bacteria, protists, fungi, plants, and animals. While at CMEC, my main goal is to write a book on community assembly for the Princeton Monographs in Population Biology series.
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.
Michael Krabbe Borregaard
My research fields are macroecology and island biogeography, with a focus on the processes determining spatial and temporal variation in species richness. My macroecological work focuses on the determinants of species' geographic ranges and the composition of regional species pools. My work in island biology focuses on the role of island geologic processes in shaping the gradual accummulation of island faunas and floras. I take a quantitative approach that incorporates simulation models and null models where appropriate.
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.
Knud Andreas Jønsson
I am a molecular systematist, biogeographer and evolutionary ecologist with a particular focus on molecular systematics of passerine birds, and assessing patterns and testing hypotheses pertaining to historical biogeography and community build-up. Most of my work is centered on the Indo-Pacific archipelagos where I also carry out fieldwork.
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.
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.
I am interested in how abiotic and biotic factors interact to shape communities and ecosystems. Current projects I work on explores the role of climate, nutrient limitation, plant-plant and plant-herbivore interactions on plant and soil microbial communities, the linkages between them and processes they drive. The variation in responses among community types to the same factors, and the consequences of this variability for ecosystem functioning is of particular interest to me. Most of my work is on mountain ecosystems and combines natural gradient approaches with experimental manipulations.
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.
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.
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 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.
Mads Cedergreen Forchhammer
I am a quantitative population biologist who addresses ecological questions and theory with cross-disciplinary analytic models applied to observational and large-scale data sets. I have considerable experience within the field of Global Change Biology. Indeed, how climatic changes interact with the ecology and dynamics of terrestrial plants, animals and their biotic environment have been pivotal in my research and teaching over the last 15 years. Specifically, I am engaged in analyzing and modelling ecological responses of vertebrates to short- and long-term changes in intra- and inter-trophic level dynamics and to large-scale climatic variability. My work has been among the first to simultaneously incorporate climatic variation into population models as well as empirically demonstrate specific phenotypic, life history and behavioural responses to global climate change within and across trophic levels in ecosystems. Recently, I have focused on the quantitative modelling of the resilience of species and system responses to climate changes.
Anna Lou Abatayo
I am a social scientist interested in studying human behavior and how this affects resource extraction and conservation. I primarily run laboratory and field experiments with human subjects to solicit preferences for conservation under different institutions. My current research focuses on how social information across countries can affect an individuals willingness to pay for conservation. In the past, I had examined the behavioral effects of rule-making, natural disasters and social networks on a resource user. I had also studied the effects of property rights and social cohesion on forest conservation.
My overall research interest lies in exploring, at large spatial scales, which components of biodiversity are the most crucial to protect and restore given that ecosystems are dynamic, uncertain and subject to change. To do so, I work with simulation models and algorithms, large secondary (and occasionally primary) data sets, and spatial analysis of data including satellite imagery. I have a particular interest in investigating the impacts of the private sector upon global biodiversity. This involves investigating mechanisms through which business can manage impacts and fund conservation and restoration activities, so as to achieve no net loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services alongside economic development.
Noelia Zafra Calvo
I am primarily interested in the effectiveness of biodiversity conservation; in terms of both where the protected areas should be placed (species distribution and richness, biodiversity patterns, systematic conservation planning); and broader social concerns of achieving equitable conservation and sustainability. My current research explores the issue of tracking equity in protected areas (Aichi Target 11). I am particularly interested in using existing conceptual frameworks recognizing the multiple dimensions of equity to describe equity as a dynamic system, thus modelling equity and interactively simulating its trend over time.
I am interested in effects of global change on soil food webs, aboveground-belowground interactions, and ecosystem functioning. Currently, I am examining the direct and indirect impacts of climate change on soil invertebrates and decomposition along elevational gradients, as well as how climate change may affect macrodetritivores (e.g., earthworms) at their northern range limits. I also work on impacts and spread of invasive species, particularly earthworms in North America. I use a combination of field surveys, experiments, and modelling in my research, in addition to citizen science.
Daniel Wisbech Carstensen
My areas of interest span wide including various aspects of community ecology, biogeography and conservation. I am especially interested in understanding interactions between species and how these structure ecological communities. Focusing on mutualistic interactions, mostly those between plants and pollinators, I apply networks to describe and analyse such interactions at the community level. Explaining the spatio-temporal variation of interactions based on the ecology and evolution of species is at the core of my research. Most of my work is on Brazilian cerrado and rupestrian grasslands (campos rupestres), which I use as study systems to find patterns and underlying mechanisms that are widely applicable.
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.
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.
How the diversity of life emerged is one of the key questions in biology. My work takes on this challenge and explores the ecology of evolutionary diversification. More specifically, I study how climate, topography, and biotic interactions influence the processes of speciation and extinction. Employing modern statistics, implemented at computer grids, my research combines phylogenies with geographic information and functional traits. This integrative approach then affords insights into the global diversity dynamics. Learn more on my website
I have a wide interest in conceptual and applied aspects of conservation biology. At CMEC I am pursuing research activity in evidence-based conservation in cooperation with the Conservation Group. My work focuses on describing how natural and anthropogenic factors affect the components of biodiversity. More specifically, I aim at defining the biodiversity baseline for the largest protected land area in Denmark (Lille Vildmose), and evaluate the possible outcomes of planned restoration actions. I am also interested in analyzing the role of species-species and species-environment interactions in shaping biological communities in the reserve. From an applied perspective, I plan to evaluate the current vulnerability of biodiversity to the threats insisting on the protected area. As a part of my project I am developing new biodiversity-oriented management projects to implement within the Danish natural areas owned by the Aage V. Jensen Foundation.
I am interested in studying the ecological and genetic mechanisms involved in generating diversity and the processes that help maintaining this diversity in the wild. Here at CMEC I will be working on a project looking at the impact of climate change in the spatial and temporal distribution of genetic diversity. Despite recent studies showing that genetic diversity plays an important role in determining the fitness and persistence of populations in space and time, assessments of climate change impacts on biodiversity have mainly focused at the ecosystem or species level, and little is known about the impact of climate change at the third level of biodiversity, the gene. I use a comparative phylogeographic approach, combining genetic data across species in a spatially explicit format with a set of climate change indicators. With this approach I hope to reveal the spatial distribution of genetic diversity across species at different points in time and identify how gene pools have changed until they reach their current distributions. This information will then be used to predict how the distribution of genetic diversity could evolve in face of climate change.
Erik Askov Mousing
I am a marine ecologist interested in a wide range of topics within phytoplankton ecology and distribution of diversity. My current research focus on using models to understand the effect of climate change on ecosystem structure and diversity at the regional to global scale. Specifically, I am developing a mechanistic description of marine planktonic dynamics which will integrate with the Madingley model (a General Ecosystem Model). Ultimately, I want to utilize the updated Madingley model to address questions relating to planetary boundaries on biodiversity and biogeochemical flows. In addition to this work, I am strongly interested in how small scale heterogeneity in the open ocean environment may influence the maintenance of phytoplankton diversity at large spatiotemporal scales.
My research interests revolve around spatio-temporal modelling, machine learning, and the interface between Geoinformatics and Macroecology. In particular, I am interested in developing new methods and tools for species distribution modelling under climate change and land use change scenarios to improve their ability for understanding of ecological processes associated with the patterns in biodiversity, as well as to deal with the challenges in the methods. Community-based species distribution models as well as inferring biotic interactions through different approaches of modelling are my current research focus. Moreover, I have a keen interest in research on understanding and quantifying uncertainties in ensembles of statistical models while focusing on the application of Geoinformatics.
My research specializes on polar desert ecosystems in the High Arctic. I am interested in the effects of climate change on arctic biodiversity and community patterns, and the evolution of polar landscapes. Specifically, I look at the reciprocal interactions between permafrost geomorphology (ice wedge polygons) and vegetation changes in a warming world. My work uses a cross-disciplinary methodology combining ecological approaches with geophysical techniques. I am also heavily engaged in science communication, writing for several newspapers and currently working on a new landmark television series with the BBC's Natural History Unit.
My industrial PhD project will study questions of importance for conservation management of threatened species (animals, plants, fungi) in Denmark - focusing on Danish Nature Agency lands. Forest species and species important for fulfilling the political 2020 targets on halting the loss of biodiversity will be investigated in particular. Data from Copenhagen and Aarhus Universities, the Ministry of Environment and the internet will be combined and analysed. The project will provide the basis for introducing a more focussed and evidence-based management for the threatened species in Denmark. The project aims to 1) study the protection of terrestrial species and habitats which are of particular importance in relation to the political 2020 targets on halting the loss of biodiversity, and 2) to investigate questions of importance for the conservation management of threatened forest species in Denmark, and more specifically on Danish Nature Agency lands, in order to provide the basis for introducing a more focussed and evidence-based management for the species, and finally 3) to use results from the studies to compile a prioritized catalogue of recommended conservation measures, which can quickly be implemented on the lands of the Nature Agency. The study will apply hotspot-, complementarity- and gap-analysis to identify patterns and priorities in the occurrences of species and supplement with other methods as appropriate. A novel part of the study is to down-scale to the applied management scale, so that the study will be directly useful for planning conservation measures.
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.
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.
My main research interests are sustainable development and ecosystem functions and services, with focus on insect communities. During my first trip to Borneo I asked myself Can we make oil palm plantations more diverse and hospitable for native fauna without loosing yield? Results from my Masters indicate that we can, and it is this question I examine further for my PhD. I am affiliated with the Insect Ecology Group at University of Cambridge, and do my fieldwork at their BEFTA site on Sumatra, Indonesia. The natural balance of the oil palm plantations have been highly disturbed for many years partly due to use of pesticides and herbicides. This use is now decreasing and more and more plantations are aware of the beneficial use of plants to provide nectar and shelter for natural enemies of herbivorous pests. Many plantations plant beneficial plants throughout their plantations, but how efficient are these plants and at what density should they be planted? These are some of the questions I address for my PhD. The oil palm industry is rapidly expanding in SE Asia, and growing in other tropical regions. Oil palm is the most productive oil crop worldwide, meaning that higher yield can be achieved per hectare in this system, potentially reducing the pressure to deforest areas of remaining natural habitat.
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.
Tora Finderup Nielsen
By using unconventional data sources such as published and unpublished local floras and excursion notes, my current research aims to quantify historical changes in Danish plant biodiversity as well as the drivers behind these changes. Linking rarely examined historical sources to modern data and land-use history enables me to identify systematic alterations in plant traits and habitats, identify causes of these changes and assess whether the changes are reversible in restored terrestrial and fresh water habitats. Historical ecology possesses a ray of challenges but often constitutes the only mean for identifying the slow changes in biodiversity occurring on a century scale. I therefore hope to use this approach to establish a baseline for current nature quality assessments to be compared to and for future objectives to be based on. Furthermore, I aim to help determine processes regulating the composition and quality of our flora on a spatial and temporal scale resulting in recommendations for future nature management. Besides Danish nature conservation I have a broad interest within evolution and biodiversity of plants in Scandinavia and the Arctic. I have previously worked with hybridization in arctic willows of different ploidy using controlled crossings, molecular and morphological methods as well as with CO2 exchange and climate-induced plant community changes in Greenland and Northern Sweden.
My main fields of interest are within Ornithology, Conservation and Movement Ecology with a particular focus on seasonal interactions. In my PhD I will use direct tracking tools such as geolocators and radio transmitters as well as satellite based vegetation indices to investigate how small migratory songbirds respond to the variation in habitat conditions that they encounter during the annual cycle. By using this approach, I hope to unravel critical stages in the life-cycle controlling population limitation. Furthermore, I will investigate the spatio-temporal migration patterns of different populations within the same species and across species belonging to various migration systems to identify potential consistencies among the use of staging areas and migration routes in relation to environmental factors.
My main research interests are taxonomy, phylogeny, and evolution of spiders (Araneae). Currently Im studying the American orb weaving genus Eustala (Araneidae), which seems to represent the species richest Neotropical araneid genus and also the only Araneidaes genus without a taxonomic review. Thus, my PhD thesis aims to review the internal relationships of the species of Eustala based on morphological data and also a taxonomic review.
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.
The focus of my research here is investigating physiological regulatory mechanisms of long-range migration and orientation in small passerines. I will be using tracking technologies to determine movements for free ranging birds during seasonal migration episodes and the interrelationship with key regulators of activity, body composition, development of sensory organs related to navigation and seasonality. My previous research has included tracking equipment to understand life history events in birds and seals, investigating metabolic processes governing functional energy portioning, appetite and activity and I have worked in remote locations from Antarctica to Greenland.
Field of interest is centered around Neotropical birds and the underlying mechanisms responsible for the associated variation in species richness and coexistence across space. The main focus of my research is to investigate how mutualistic and antagonistic interactions among hummingbirds and plants add to the prediction of their coexistence when accounting for contemporary climate, dispersal and cost-distance. To do so, I will construct a regional network for the hummingbird-plant visitation frequencies from a national park in Southern Ecuador. This will be used to compute Markov chain Monte Carlo derived probabilities for the realization of hummingbird-plant assemblages while integrating interaction contemporary climate, dispersal and cost-distance.
My main research interest is to understand how climate change affect the phenology and performance of alpine plants on the Tibetan Plateau. We conducted a warming and altered precipitation experiment (infrared heating system) on an alpine meadow ecosystem, to simulate the anticipated climate change. At this control experiment, my work is to study the effects of different warming mode and altered precipitation on the main life-history processes of alpine plants. I investigated the phenology, reproductive output, resource allocation and seed traits of 11 dominant species and try to understand the patterns and mechanisms of phenology and performance shifts under climate change.
My research focus is on the geographic range shifts of species in response to climate change. I assess whether climate change significantly affect range dynamics and species extinction risk. In particular, I am exploring whether species range shift is directional (following climate change) or multi-directional due to natural population dynamic or land use change and habitat lose. I am particularly interested in the way how environmental factors, species interactions, human impacts and population fragmentation influence species distributions. I have extensive experience in applying geo-information and spatio-temporal analytical tools in environmental sciences, and I am strongly interested to use the application of Remote Sensing in Biodiversity, ecological and Biogeographical modeling.
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.
Working within economic valuation of migratory bird species I am interested in what makes people across countries cooperate in conservation efforts. International cooperation is crucial to sustain many migratory bird species and I hope to be able to shed light on some factors needed to facilitate this. I am currently performing research within environmental and experimental economics on bird species with both intra- and intercontinental migration patterns. Other interests are application of multi-criteria decision analysis tools in assessing land use changes.
Petter Zahl Marki
My research interests are related to the mating systems, life-histories and diversification dynamics of birds, with a particular focus on the oscine passerines. This large radiation had its origin in the Australasian region, but several lineages have through multiple independent dispersal events colonized all the worlds major landmasses, barring Antarctica, and some of them have experienced extensive subsequent radiation. On the other hand, a large number of phylogenetically old and relict lineages are still restricted to their area of origin in New Guinea and Australia. In my PhD I aim to investigate how variations in breeding ecology, such as promiscuity rates, modes of parental care and innovations in nest construction might have influenced such diversification patterns. I will address these questions in a comparative framework by combining old and newly collected data with robust molecular phylogenies.
My main interests are nature conservation, ecology and biodiversity, in particular I would like to work in the areas of endangered species, eco-truism or habitat restoration. During my bachelor thesis I focused on the use of camera-trapping method as a tool for biodiversity monitoring. Now, in my masters thesis, I want to cover other aspects of conservation. I will work in the field of population genetics and I will investigate the intraspecific genetic diversity in birds, in order to provide a global distribution map. As a second objective, I will focus on evaluating how genetic diversity is distributed within species ranges. Indeed, identifying generalities in patterns across species is crucial for conservation purposes.
Elizabeth Mary Dent
Freeze-thaw cycles and dry-rewet soil events are predicted to occur with higher frequency. My MSc thesis will look into microbial community change (composition and abundance) after these climate change related stress events are applied. The overall aim is to apply the findings towards whole ecosystems and their functions. I am interested in why ecosystems are composed the way they are which can likely be explained better through lifes basic components.
Stine Donechy Andreasen
My main research interests are within conservation, wildlife management and behavioural biology. During my bachelor project I focused on reintroduction of wild boar to Denmark. My master thesis will be about investigating the differences in home range size and habitat preferences between a natural forest (Strødam reservatet) and a production forest (Gribskov) to assess the suitability of available habitats in a managed forest on a key stone species the Great spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major). Data collection has been done through radio telemetry during two breeding seasons in 2014 and 2015. My results will hopefully provide valuable information on habitat suitability in a production forest and can be used to help improve future conservation efforts.
Emilie Kann Elten
Im currently doing a double degree masters in environmental science focusing on climate change; my interests within biology and climate change are quite broad spanding from socio-economic to ethical and natural science aspects. Right now I concern myself mostly with the biological side of all this, but my hope is to work across disciplines after I graduate. My thesis topic is on invasive ants, climate change and biodiversity, and Im looking forward to seeing whats up and down with this trio.
I am a Californian who recently graduated from Yale University with a degree in Geology and Geophysics. My focus at Yale was ecosystem ecology, paleoecology/paleoclimatology, and climate change decision making science. Here at CMEC, on a Fulbright grant, I will be working on the planetary boundaries framework hopefully both in modelling and policy relevance. In the future, I plan on pursuing a PhD in global change biology and climate change communications with direct relevance for policy makers. Outside of academia, you can probably find me hiking, kayaking, or exploring my new home!
I am interested in nature protection, ecology and wildlife management. In my Bachelor project I looked at the influence of forest management on the growth of beech trees, especially in extreme years. Into my next project I wanted to include a zoological part as well. Therefore, in my master's thesis I will monitor snail abundance and species composition in Gribskov. The management intensity varies in the investigated plots. Besides, I will look at the influence of dead wood, soil pH and vegetation on snail occurrence.
Frej Faurschou Hastrup
My interests are primarily biodiversity, conservation and ecology. In my thesis I will investigate how the biodiversity of vascular plants changed over the last century on Tuse næs, a peninsula placed north of Holbæk. The study is based on an unpublished flora made by a teacher from Holbæk in the period 1911-1914. The aim of the study is to quantify changes in distribution and abundance for plant species on Tuse næs, and address the most important drivers to the changes in the diversity of vascular plants. In a conservation perspective, the study will hopefully point out some important factors in maintaining biodiversity at a landscape level.
Camilla Boje Langkilde-Lauesen
My main research interests are related to understanding the synergies and trade-offs between different ecosystem services and/or land-uses. Specifically, I am interested in how to identify and implement sustainable solutions to land-use-biodiversity conflicts. Furthermore, to understand how they can be integrated into natural resource management and decision-making and planning processes. My case is National Park Thy, which was established in 2008 as the first national park in Denmark. The objective of the national park is to protect and enhance natural values, while promoting outdoor recreation, tourism and other uses of the area. Obtaining a balance between conservation and other land-uses under resource limitations, poses a major challenge. In my master thesis, I apply spatial prioritization, using Marxan with zones, to address this problem. The aim is to identify near optimal and cost-efficient suggestions for a zonation plan of the different land-uses in National Park Thy. Additionally, I will evaluate the associated conservation costs and the applicability and limitations of Marxan with zones as a tool for conservation prioritization in a Danish context.
Louise Juhl Lehmann
My research interests cover a wide range of topics within macroecology, evolution, conservation and natural history in general. Currently, my main focus is on pollination ecology and plant-pollinator networks. Many studies concerning these networks have focused on visitation rate alone, but this does not accurately describe the importance of each interaction between plant and visitor. In my thesis I will focus on the pollination systems of species in the Rubiacea family on the Caribbean island, Dominica. Here, I will examine the geographical variation in floral phenotype and pollinator service of insects and hummingbirds given the ecological differences between different elevations and habitats. I will do this by characterizing floral traits and determining pollination effectiveness at different elevations from data that I will collect myself during 3 1/2 months of fieldwork on Dominica. The results of this study will improve our understanding of pollination systems and thereby provide an useful contribution to management and conservation of Rubiacea species and their pollinators.
Sissel Christine Haar Olesen
I have a broad spectrum of interests, but mainly within the fields of ecology, biodiversity, conservation and nature management. My MSc project is part of the larger BioWide project (Biodiversity in Width and Depth) led by Aarhus University, where the main focus is uncovering the biodiversity in different terrestrial nature types in Denmark. I will focus on how vascular plants are distributed along abiotic gradients in microclimate and try to develop predictive models for vegetation as a function of temperature and humidity. In addition to this, I will also perform a logger efficiency test. In the BioWide project, only one set of climate loggers are placed in each study-site, so to find out how well this one logger pair covers the spatial and temporal variation within the study-site, I have placed 16 logger pairs in each of six different sites on Sealand that will be left out for a longer time period.
Maria Therese Bager Olsen
My interests are conservation, behavioural biology and wildlife management. I did my bachelor project in social behaviour/structure in Ring-tailed lemurs. In my master thesis, I will dig my way into the CITES trade database. The aim of my study is to get a better understanding of legal and illegal trade of terrestrial mammals listed on CITES. I will investigate the relationship between legal and illegal trade of these species, as well as the relationship between temporal changes in trade and temporal changes in the wild populations of the species in question. The results will hopefully provide a tool to understand wildlife trade better and improve the evidence-base on both the scale and scope of the illegal trade in wildlife. In extension, if this study shows that legal trade in wildlife does somehow reflect illegal trade, then we would have identified a new strand of evidence which can be used to understand and formulate actions that could ultimately prevent illegal wildlife trade.
Tanja Kofod Petersen
My main interests cover a broad spectrum within conservation, ecology, evolution and interspecific interactions. In my thesis I will focus on dispersal on plant seeds in the fur (epizoochory) and faeces (endozoochory) of red deer in different Danish habitat types. A few studies in Europe have investigated the viable seeds dispersed through endozoochory, but almost none have looked at epizoochorous dispersal. Hence, I will collect the faeces and brush the fur of shot deer in various Danish areas to investigate the transported seeds to determine the possible differences in these dispersal routes.
My main interests are in conservation and nature management. My thesis will be about Woodland Key Habitats and their use as a field based registration tool for assessing biodiversity values in managed forests. I will map WKH´s in Gribskov by looking at different landscape and biological key elements as well as registering indicator species. The outcome will be a field based overview of biodiversity values in Gribskov, which will be compared with an existing calculated Bioscore. A comparison of the two different approaches will show if the existing dataset is an adequate basis for assessing biodiversity of managed forests. In the project I will also look at the possibilities of applying the gathered data into management proposals within different scenarios for the future of Gribskov.
Søren Møller Starcke
I originally started out in biology because I read more and more about the bleak future for biodiversity with the increasing pressure from humans and thought, I ought to do something. Since then my interests for ecology, nature management and restoration have only grown, and today my primary ambition is still to actively work with nature management, in order to improve the conditions of the natural world. My thesis will be about the potential of newly restored forest-meadows in the Bidstrup-Forests to become high quality meadows and which management practices can facilitate such a transition. This will be assessed through a botanical study of the meadows compared with the management history and soil-chemical analysis.
|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.
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.
I form part of the administrative team at the Section of Biodiversity. My tasks include daily administration and support to the Section of Biodiversity and the Ringing Section at the Zoological Museum. Cross-organizational (CMEC), I coordinate office space for employees, students and guests. I am also in charge of practicalities in relation with new staff and students.
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 finished my PhD specialized Evolutionary Genetics in December 2012 at Uppsala University. My research was about evaluating the performance of the Approximate Bayesian Computation approach to infer demographic parameters from large amounts of population-genetic data and investigating genomic parameters under various demographic and evolutionary scenarios. My position at CMEC is to manage and maintain the computing cluster and setup a global-wide phylogenetic/genetic database over plenty of species, and also to provide bioinformatics support in the research.
I am interested in the processes that have generated modern patterns of biodiversity. My Master thesis used Corals of the Indo-Pacific as the study system to test the relative importance of environmental conditions and dispersal in generating similar species assemblages. As a Research Assistant at the centre I now support Sally in investigating the processes underlying the distributions of Butterflyfish, genus Chaetodon. This is a species rich group, closely associated with corals, members of which differ significantly in terms of extent and location of their ranges. The research will integrate species distribution modelling, behavioural observations and process-based models to elucidate the processes driving these patterns, I will support in the first two areas.
Lotte Nymark Busch Jensen
I hold a Masters degree in Nature Management, and have a particular interest in communication of relevant and contemporary natural science, in order to facilitate a greater understanding and fascination of our nature. In particular I am specialized in the topics of nature perception, biodiversity and sustainability. As a maternity cover for Elisabeth Wulffeld, 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.
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
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.
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 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.
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
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.