I am a biologist and passionate naturalist from the Canary Islands (Spain) interested in biology, conservation and management of endangered species and also in biogeography, statistics, ornithology, new technologies (such as the use of drones and telemetry for ecological and species monitoring studies) and how all these different techniques and disciplines can be combined and applied to the development of conservation strategies. After finishing my bachelor degree in Biology at the University of La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain) I had the opportunity to work on the reintroduction project from the white-tailed laurel pigeon (Columba junoniae), in Gran Canaria from 2014 to 2016. Then I moved to the mainland Spain to complete a master in conservation biology at the University of Granada, where I ended up working in the ecological implications of the scatter-hoarder behaviour of magpies (Pica pica). At the same time, and with some colleges from the Canaries, I was conducting a study about the impact of sea-bird colonies in the conservation of the critically endangered Canarian speckled lizard (Gallotia intermedia). Finally, in May 2018, I got hired by the University of Braunschweig to conduct a monitoring over the common fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) populations of the Eifel region. Apart from these activities, I have had also the chance to work in different projects, from different institutions, related with the reptiles species from the Canary Islands such as the Tizon lizard (Gallotia galloti) the lizards from the rocks of Anaga (Gallotia galloti insulanagae) and the Tenerife gecko (Tarentola delalandi).
PhD project: Global scenarios of terrestrial vertebrate diversity
Habitat loss is the main driver of biodiversity loss globally, and climate change is predicted to become one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and ecosystem function in the coming decades. The potential combined effect of these two threats to biodiversity has been explored so far only for a limited number of species. A hierarchical framework has been developed to assess the impacts of these drivers on species distribution and abundance and produce indicators of progress towards globally agreed conservation targets (Visconti et al. 2016).
This project will expand this framework by integrating prior belief of habitat suitability with observation data to model distribution of a broader set of taxonomic groups, including birds and reptiles. These ecological models will be applied to future socio-economic scenarios to answer key ecological and conservation questions about taxonomic, functional and geographic patterns of impacts of projected land-use and climate change (Barbet-Massin et al. 2015).
The main outcomes of this project will be the development of new statistical methods for predicting the combined impacts of climate and land-use change on bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile species. These could help inform future IUCN Red List assessments of species’ extinction risk.
- Visconti, P., Bakkenes, M, Baisero, D, Brooks, T, Butchart, SH., Joppa, L., Alkemade R, Di Marco M, Santini L, Hoffmann M, Maiorano L, Pressey RL, Arponen A, Boitani L, Reside, AE, Rondinini, C. (2016). Projecting global biodiversity indicators under future development scenarios. Conservation Letters 9: 5-13.
- Barbet‐Massin, M. and Jetz, W., 2015. The effect of range changes on the functional turnover, structure and diversity of bird assemblages under future climate scenarios. Global Change Biology, 21: 2917-2928.