Forest Ecology and Conservation Group, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
The key goal of my research is to achieve better understanding of trends and patterns of global biodiversity and better predictive capacity, by studying the imprint of paleoclimates on biodiversity.
My research questions:
1. How climate change has influenced biodiversity in a relatively short timeframe (thousands of years), through niche conservatism,
2. How climate change has influenced biodiversity in evolutionary timeframe (millions of years), i.e. through niche shifts and niche conservatism?
Exploring controversial biogeographical hypotheses in Eastern Europe using ecological niche modelling
External collaborators: Mykyta Peregrym (University of Kyiv, Ukraine); Roy H.J. Erkens (Utrecht University, The Netherlands).
Objectives: To achieve better understanding of the pan-European legacy of the ice ages for species and genetic diversity, the existing controversy as to the exact number and locations of the Pleistocene refugia, presence or absence of migration routes for plants, and the ages of some relicts in Eastern Europe (EE) needs to be resolved. We propose to resolve the controversial biogeographical situation of EE using species distribution models. As a study group, we will use the fern genus Asplenium, for species of which European distributions are well documented except for the eastern part, where available data are often incomplete. The evidence from ecological niche modelling will be verified against the existing biogeographical hypotheses and conclusions will be drawn about the fate of EE plant diversity in a changing climate.
Integration of niche modelling and phylodiversity studies to explore Altai plant diversity
External collaborators: A. Shmakov (Barnaul State University, Russian Federation); Niklaus Zimmermann (Swiss Federal Research Institute, Switzerland)
Objectives: Global climate change poses a number of risks to mountain habitats, where species are faced with the reduced amount of habitat, or may disappear completely. The unique plant diversity of the Altai Mountain County is characterised by complex community structure, high endemism and presence of the Tertiary relicts. We propose to test the hypothesis that the robustness of different plant communities to climate change will depend on their ecological and phylogenetic structure, by integrating environmental niche modelling and phylodiversity approach using the existing taxonomic knowledge as a background. The results will form a baseline record for future research and conservation.
FP7 Marie Curie Project INTERCROSSING under the sub-programme Initial Training Network (ITN). http://intercrossing.wikispaces.com/