I am a theoretical ecologist interested in animal movement and community ecology. My core interests lie on understanding individual movement behaviour and its consequences on species coexistence and community patterns. To gain a mechanistic knowledge about these questions I use spatially-explicit and individual-based simulation models. In my PhD-project I use a community model that allows for a mechanistic upscaling from organisms and traits to biodiversity patterns via individual home range formation.
Foraging movement and home range formation of individuals are key properties of animal communities since they determine their spatial structure and define the usage of resources within the environment. In face of environmental threats such as habitat loss, fragmentation or degradation animals alter their foraging movement and adapt their home ranges to the new conditions. These modifications in space use also affect community composition and structure. For a mechanistic understanding of community structures it is therefore crucial to identify key factors influencing individual space use and their effects on community composition and structure.
In my PhD-project I aim for a mechanistic upscaling from individuals and traits to biodiversity patterns. Furthermore, the role of landscape feature and human impacts on the linkage between individual movement and biodiversity is evaluated. In a first step I identify key traits impacting individual space use and their influence on animal communities facing environmental changes such as habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation. Additionally, the model can predict community composition and structure in natural landscapes obtained from the study region AgroScapeLabs. By focusing on rodent communities, model predictions can be validated with empirical data sampled in other projects of the BioMove RTG.