My primary research interest is to understand why there are more species in some places than others, going from small-scale differences in diversity in riparian zones to why biodiversity is higher close to the equator than close to the poles in most clades. In many cases the absence of species is as important as their presence: Many patterns are driven by failure of species to colonize a specific place, or a result of historical factors (the dynamics of speciation and extinction in the past).
The role of climatic and geographic factors for diversification
I use phylogenies, models of past climates and data on species geographic distributions to understand how speciation and extinction dynamics has varied among regions depending on the history of climatic variability.
Evolutionary consequences of climate change
Climate change has been a recurrent feature of Earth’s entire history, and has selected for certain traits, such as high vagility, and filtered out other traits, such as high specialisation and small geographic ranges. I’m interested in how various biological phenomena have been affected by climate change in the past.
Riparian vegetation along streams and rivers
At the ecosystem level, I mostly work with riparian zones along stream and rivers, and the importance of landscape ecological processes for riparian plant species composition in riparian. I also study how riverine ecosystems have been exploited by for example hydropower, and how ecosystems respond to different measures of restoration and mitigation.
I’m course co-ordinator for an advanced level course in ecosystem management (15 ECTS-credits), examiner for candidate theses in biology, and teach plant ecology on various courses.
Editor for the ecology section of Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (Wiley)
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