Animal movement can affect biodiversity along many routes. Fine-scale movement behaviour allows spatio-temporal segregation of competitors and may thus facilitate coexistence. Dispersing individuals connect populations and maintain genetic diversity. Differences in mobility can give species an edge over otherwise superior competitors. Futhermore, moving animals provide important sevices within ecosystems as 'mobile links', transporting nutrients and genetic material (e.g. seeds, pollen) and providing important processes (e.g. disturbance via grazing). These mechanisms are threatenend by environmental changes, such as human-induced changes in landscape structure and habitat, climate change or the introduction of invasive species.
My objective is to develop a theoretical concept that will allow us to study the various links between movement processes and biodiversity within one framework and to identify links that are particularly vulnerable to environmental changes or have a high potential for buffering against negative impacts.
Additionally, I develop individual-based models for movement-mediated coexistence mechanisms, linking fine-scale movement behaviour of interacting species to population-level coexistence patterns. I will use these models to understand the contribution of movement processes (e.g. via habitat selection or intra- and inter-specific avoidance mechanisms) to coexistence and to predict how these mechanisms are impacted by environmental change.
I have a passion for both math and ecology, and I combine the two by addressing theoretical questions in ecology with the help of models and by developing new mathematical-statistical methods for ecologists.
Before joining BioMove, I have mainly worked in movement ecology, designing models for memory-based movement strategies and addressing problems of movement data analysis with random walk models.