|Institution||University of Aberdeen|
School: School of Biological Sciences
Project: Understanding and managing connectivity across habitat types: the case of avian pollinators with altitudinal movement in the tropical Andes mountains
Undergraduate Education: BSc in Biology, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
Postgraduate Education: MSc in Biology, Animal Ecology, Lund University, Sweden
Research: My research has focused on animal movement to address questions of behavioural responses to biotic interactions and the environment, ecological connectivity, the role of landscape during migration and conservation of long-distance migratory species. I have worked mainly with birds as study systems, in both tropical and temperate ecosystems.
During my PhD I will study how we can model connectivity for species with more complex movements between habitat types, particularly in tropical mountains, where elevation gradients form distinct habitats across relatively short distances through which animals move.
My case study will be located across a gradient of low and high-Andean forests to páramo in a region of Colombia that has intense human pressure interspersed with networks of public and private protected areas. I will use monitoring methods, molecular tools and tracking devices to study hummingbirds, avian pollinators of Andean ecosystems with marked seasonal altitudinal movements. My aim is to create a novel habitat connectivity tool that may be used in landscape management and improve our understanding about how species with essential ecological roles rely on different tropical mountain ecosystems that are increasingly threatened by habitat loss and climate change.