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Fiona Spooner
PhD Research
Biodiversity and Ecology

Using observed population trends to improve forecasts of the future impacts of environmental change on biodiversity

This project will have an over-arching aim of testing and improving the accuracy of methods used to predict future responses of biodiversity to environmental change. This will chiefly be done by coupling mechanistic and correlative models, through incorporating species occurrences, life history traits, population dynamics and species interactions. The project will be in two distinct stages which will build upon each other. These models will be validated against observed population trends from the Living Planet data base, in order to assess their predictive accuracy. The first part of the project will aim to couple demographic models and ecological niche models so that demographic processes such as survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal are incorporated into the models and can vary with habitat suitability. The second part of the project will build upon the first section and will focus upon incorporating species interactions into coupled niche-demographic models. A case study network of three to four well studied species will be used as the basis for this in order to capture the effects of species interactions on population dynamics. The models will be tested against observed population trends and used as a tool to predict future population trends and species extinction risk.
Richard Pearson
Robin Freeman
Trends, biases and effectiveness in reported conservation interventions
Conservation Science
Work & Volunteer Experience
Research Assistant
Zoological Society of London
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