A deep dive on ecoregions

Ecoregions are central to global modeling of earth systems & development of conservation plans. There is great variability across taxonomic groups and regions of the world in how strongly ecoregions described community composition. Two years ago, a team of us published a study entitled ‘A global test of ecoregions’ (Smith et al., 2018). In thatContinue reading “A deep dive on ecoregions”

ECR feature: Chemical variations in fossil pollen with Florian Muthreich

Florian Muthreich is a PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Bergen, focusing on the application of chemical variations in fossil pollen to understand ecosystem dynamics. Florian’s work focuses on identifying Oak (Quercus) pollen in sediment cores – which is particularly difficult to differentiate with a light microscope – atContinue reading “ECR feature: Chemical variations in fossil pollen with Florian Muthreich”

Different evolutionary routes to becoming diversity hotspots

How to tease apart the evolutionary mechanisms underlying global biodiversity patterns. A major question in evolution and ecology is why biodiversity is so unevenly distributed on Earth. This geographic pattern of global diversity has been extensively analyzed in plants and vertebrates, and has been suggested to be attributed to climatic and topographic variables. However, environmentalContinue reading “Different evolutionary routes to becoming diversity hotspots”

ECR feature: Stephanie K. Adamczak

Stephanie is a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a marine mammal ecologist with an interest in quantitative modelling approaches. Stephanie shares her recent work on trait evolution in pilot whales and the contrasts in ecogeographic rules between terrestrial and marine systems. Stephanie conducting fieldwork off the coast of LongContinue reading “ECR feature: Stephanie K. Adamczak”

ECR feature: Jéssica Fenker

Jéssica Fenker is a PhD candidate at Australia National University. She is a herpetologist with a particular interest in adaptive radiations, species diversification, and savanna ecosystems. Jéssica shares her recent work, a multidisciplinary study, on characterising the biodiversity of lizards in the Cerrado, South America. Jéssica Feneker posing with a goanna in Australia (left), andContinue reading “ECR feature: Jéssica Fenker”

The forgotten giants of the Western Indian Ocean reefs

Giant clams have long fascinated adventurers and naturalists. These large shallow-water molluscs certainly are among the most colourful, conspicuous and emblematic species of the Indo-Pacific coral reefs. They have been exploited for thousands of years for their flesh and shell. Giant clam conservation is also an increasingly concerning issue because of the vulnerability of giantContinue reading “The forgotten giants of the Western Indian Ocean reefs”

ECR feature: Cavity-nesting pollinators and their antagonists with Antonia Mayr

Antonia V. Mayr is a Postdoc at the University of Würzburg department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology. Her research is based in tropical mountain ecology and focuses on questions about how climate and land use change affect species, and how functional and phylogenetic diversity relate to changes in ecosystem services. Antonia provides background informationContinue reading “ECR feature: Cavity-nesting pollinators and their antagonists with Antonia Mayr”

What goes on below?

The above-ground diversity of plants in the Cape Floristic Region is legion.  But what about arthropods?  And what about below-ground? Several years ago at the start of my postgraduate research training and career, I was part of a team of researchers from Stellenbosch University who were fascinated simply by how life works and how itContinue reading “What goes on below?”

ECR feature: Norwegian plant distributions with Ida Mienna

Ida M. Mienna is a PhD student at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, having recently completed her master’s degree at Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Her current work focuses on understanding the spatial ecology of the forest-tundra ecotone in Fennoscandia, especially through investigating drivers of change and establishing a high resolution monitoring systemContinue reading “ECR feature: Norwegian plant distributions with Ida Mienna”

Niche filling dynamics in the Australian Wet Tropics

How to tease apart the mechanisms behind patterns of diversity in the wild. A major challenge in ecology and evolution is to unravel the processes that generate and maintain the uneven distribution of life on Earth. A common approach is to regress species richness, the number of species counted at a place, on variables representingContinue reading “Niche filling dynamics in the Australian Wet Tropics”