Research

MSc Thesis

Land improvement as a biodiversity conservation tool for terrestrial and semi-aquatic habitat connectivity in major river bed restoration projects

With the restoration of the Rhône River in Valais there will be some land improvements (Meliorationen). In a model we want to use these land improvements to create a grassland buffer zone outside the levee between the newly restored river and the adjacent intensive agriculture. In this buffer zone new semi-aquatic and terrestrial habitats for different species of the national priority list, including amphibians, a reptile, birds, and a butterfly, can be set up. I am modelling these habitats in QGIS and calculate the best possible areas and distances of the patches to optimize connectivity along the Rhône from Sierre to Martigny.

BSc Thesis

Assigning acceleration measurements to behaviour in European Hoopoes (Upupa epops)

Small light level geolocators are used widely to identify migration routes of birds. With a new kind of logger not only light level, but also the gravity along the axes of the sensor is measured. The aim of this is to use these measurements to calculate the acceleration and with that distinguish the different behaviours of the bird. On a later stage an energy budget can be calculated according to the activity.

For this study I equipped European hoopoes (Upupa epops) with geolocators recording the acceleration continuously. The goal was to assign the three main behaviours – flying, foraging and sitting – to the according acceleration patterns and to find the best algorithm to compress the data, to be able to store data from an entire year on the device.

Year Description
2016 – present Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution with special qualification in Animal Ecology and Conservation, University of Bern
2012 – 2015 Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Bern