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Project Title: Attributing biodiversity change to global change drivers
Land-use change is the most significant driver of biodiversity change in terrestrial ecosystems, yet the relationship between land-use change (e.g., conversion of forests to agricultural fields) and biodiversity trends through time remains unknown. Furthermore, land-use change may interact with other global change drivers, such as climate change, which may further alter ecosystems. The aim of my PhD research is to determine the effects of land-use change on plant and animal communities around the world. To achieve this, I am combining knowledge from several global databases of population, biodiversity and land-use change through time. Specifically, I will study how forest cover change, land-use intensification and land abandonment influence the diversity and abundance of ecological communities. Understanding how human activities are re-shaping the natural world is key for spearheading novel solutions to global challenges posed by growing human populations and increased pressure on ecosystems.
Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship
University: University of Edinburgh