Conservation Biology

Research

Over the last years, conservation research on European birds had a lesser focus on montane species, mainly due to their apparent stability and the adverse conditions one can face in alpine environments. However, increasing threats are upon these species. Climate change is predicted to have more impacts in high mountains systems and a likely consequence is an upward shift of flora and fauna, causing a reduction of their populations due to the decrease of their habitat. Other pressures lie on alpine species, such as a changing agricultural paradigm causing on one hand the farming intensification of some areas and on the other hand the abandonment of high-altitude pastures which leads to woody vegetation encroachment. 
 
In my master project, I focus on the Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus alpestris, whose decline in Switzerland has motivated its inclusion in the priority species of the country. We aim to assess the pattern of micro- and meso-habitat selection in a breeding area in Valais. During the breeding season and thanks to radiotracking, we will record foraging locations of several individuals. We will measure some habitat variables in these locations and in randomly-generated pseudo-absences. By comparing these, we will hopefully be able to highlight the preferences of the Ring Ouzel for some key features. As my master thesis is part of a larger project, I also have data from previous years that could be used for testing the transferability of our model through both spatial and temporal scales. 

Curriculum Vitae

Year Description
2016 – present MSc in Ecology and Evolution, department of Conservation Biology, Universität Bern
2013 - 2016 BSc in Biology, Université de Lausanne