Ph.D. Student Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich

Species distributions along latitudinal and elevational gradients tend to remain stable over time. Ecological conditions change sharply with elevation; 10 m of elevational range retreat is equivalent to 10 km latitudinal retreat. I study community structure over an elevational gradient in the Swiss Alps and determine factors limiting the distribution of species. The organisms I study are Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), a group of aquatic insects with quite high abilities to fly from one water body to another. In a metapopulation context, it is of interest to discover whether extremely high elevation ponds play a role of sink supplied through dispersal by lower elevation source ponds. I also study the adaptations of species at high elevations and the tradeoff between survival and reproductive success. I am using the CSCF database of Swiss odonate records (since 1970) to assess potential shifts in distribution range of species due to climate change.

Experience

  • –present
    Ph.D. Student Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zürich