Funded by Horizon 2020 MSCA-IF-2019
July 2020 - June 2022
When and where are biotic interactions important determinants of species persistence?
SEASON aimed to link demographic processes and biotic interactions under changes in the seasonality of environmental factors across time and space. Integrating theoretical and empirical analyses, the two main objectives of this project were to (i) develop an analytical framework which assesses how demography-biotic-interaction feedbacks mediate multi-species population responses to seasonality change; and (ii) apply the framework on empirical systems to synthesize novel information on the importance of the feedbacks.
Create simulated datasets of species abundances for different interaction types (predator-prey, competition, mutualism). Then do lots of perturbations and sensitivity analyses to create hypotheses on the importance of feedbacks between demography and biotic interactions in keeping a system stable.
Here are some results from the simulations (presented at BES 2020)
Multispecies demographic models are now a new module (vignette 6) in the cxr R package for modelling species co-existence (two related papers coming soon)
Test the hypotheses generated during theoretical simulations on lots of fantastic empirical demographic data on interacting species.
Our first paper on the importance of explicitly modelling species interactions is out. Here is a free view-only version. I also wrote a Twitter thread summarizing the paper. And here is a fantastic podcast highlighting the results.
There is also an MS thesis available on using dynamic N-mixture models to infer demographic rates for highly mobile species with complex life cycles - which we are currently turning into a manuscript.
Another MS thesis is currently modelling interactions between Iberian lynx and its main prey under seasonal climate change.
Prof. Revilla hosts my project at EBD CSIC. We are in contact with numerous researchers to integrate seasonal demographic data for Iberian lynxes, red foxes, red kites, rabbits, and other species.
I will be visiting Prof. Ozgul's group at UZH to perform capture-recapture analyses needed for some of the empirical data
The two manage the Wild Nature Institute , and I am excited to model some of their amazing ungulate data.
Dr. Schradin manages the Striped Mouse Project in the Succulent Karoo. Over > 15 years, the project has collected demographic data on on these social rodents; combined with data on other species in the Succulent Karoo, we will be able to develop interesting multi-species demographic models.
I am collaborating with the Kalahari Meerkat Project to assess host-pathogen interactions and the demographic consequences for meerkat persistence.
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