I am an insect ecologist. My work focuses on studying species and communities in a changing world. Climate and habitat change are the most pronounced threats to virtually all species and ecosystems. Such changes affect plant-insect associations at all levels.
I am particularly keen to work on questions relating to relationships between functional species traits and environmental habitat characteristics. It is important in modern ecology to understand ecological communities not only in regard of their species composition, but also the functional roles of different species, by studying morphological, chemical and physiological species traits
Please also have a look at my Google Scholar profile
I recently joined Sandra Rehan’s lab at University of New Hampshire (US) as a postdoctoral researcher. I am currently working on the ecology and functional traits of native bees in New England.
In a recent project, I investigated how land use types affect wild bee populations in terms of performance-related functional traits. The small carpenter bee (Ceratina calcarata) was selected as a study organism, because this bee is an important and abundant pollinator of crops and native flowers. I am looking at adult bees and their offspring, and how body size differs among agricultural farming practices such as organic or conventional farming.
Currently, I am using museums specimens to find out if functional traits in current samples of bee species are different from historic ones, and why this might be.
Find out more about my previous research projects on my research page – here
Outreach / extension
I am passionate about communicating research findings to the wider community and providing guidelines for management practices. I have disseminated research findings in form of a project summary to stakeholders, landowners and local communities. I have also created toolbox based management recommendations aimed at increasing levels of carbon and biodiversity on golf courses.
The Western Sydney University media team has showcased my research in a filmed interview to promote the diverse research environment at the university. Check out the video feature on the “Green corridors as simple as ABC“
Check out my media coverage about the fate of insect communities in a warmer climate: “When the heat is on!”