Bridging in Biodiversity Science

New research project on urban ecology

Back in Berlin, I am now working as scientist in the new research project “Bridging in Biodiversity Science (BIBS)” which is established at the Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research (BBIB) and the TU Berlin. Rapid transitions in land use patterns are often very conspicuous in the process of urbanization: within the central European landscape, large urban areas have emerged within the past two centuries. By ignoring them as islands of unnatural, novel landscapes, traditional research on ecology and biodiversity did not predict that numerous mammalian wildlife species would invade, stay and flourish within urban areas, or that cities would emerge as biodiversity hotspots. Since I am now responsible for the work package “Rural-urban coupling” I am going to work on the following research topics:

  • understanding the effect and spatial reach of matrix heterogeneity and configuration,
  • measuring the temporal dynamics of urban landscapes to reveal effects of landuse legacy, historical connectivity and current land use,
  • identifying key functional traits of successful species that meet the challenges created by urban environments, and
  • exploring the consequences of increased contact for both people and wildlife
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