Community Assembly and Landscape Ecology

Research

Below you can find the topics that we are most actively working on in the lab at the moment. 

Biogeography of landscape ecology

Following Orme et al. 2019 and Betts et al. 2019 papers, we now have a group of Masters and PhD students working to further our understanding on the intraspecific variation in population responses to deforestation and habitat fragmentation.  The main topics we are studying include:

– Do mammals and lizards also respond more negatively to habitat loss near the geographic range edge?

– Are species responses to habitat fragmentation also variable across populations of the same species and dependent on distance from the range edge?

– Does proximity to range edge impact individual traits and physiological stress?

– Is climatic suitability the underlying driver of the effect of proximity to rage edge on species responses to habitat change? And are all range edges impacting populations in the same way (e.g. north vs south, hard vs soft boundaries).

Impacts of land use change on ecosystem functioning

Following the Harrison & Banks-Leite 2020 and Chan & Banks-Leite 2020 papers, we are working to better understanding how habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation impact rates of ecosystem functioning. This work is being lead by Adam Fraser, who conducted his Masters in the SAFE Project in Borneo and is now doing his PhD in the lab. Some of the topics we’re exploring include:

– Cross-continental analysis of the impact of vertebrate exclusion on herbivory

– Developing a framework and testing the existence of functional chains