PhD topic: Adapting to the Challenges of a Changing Environment
PhD supervisor(s): Dr Colin Beale
I completed a BSc in Biology at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and a MRes in Ecology at the University of Glasgow, where I developed an interest in applied ecological research, but also data analysis. After my Masters, I gathered ornithological field work experience in South America and West Africa, while also expanding my analytical skills through collaborations on research projects. I am now undertaking a PhD in the Department of Biology, where I am pursuing my interest in analysing patterns of environmental change, using remote sensing and spatial modelling techniques.
My research aims at analysing the patterns and impacts of a changing environment, with a focus on East African grasslands. Using remote sensing as well as ground survey data, I investigated spatiotemporal trends of grassland degradation in the region, in the context of resistance and recovery potential of habitats. In a current research project, I am analysing historic bird range shifts in Tanzania. I am applying an integrated Bayesian model, to combine structured survey observations with unstructured citizen science data. Analysing spatio-temporal trends, I am relating species-level range changes to model-derived sensitivity and exposure to climatic and anthropogenic pressures. The aim of this project is to identify the dominant drivers of range changes in the region, while also quantifying individual vulnerabilities. Ultimately, this will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind species responses to environmental change.