My research is focused on ecological informatics, macroecology, functional biogeography and global biodiversity change (past, present, and future). I am fascinated by the tremendous diversity of species and life forms on Earth, and my work seeks to explain and understand the determinants and drivers of species distributions and biodiversity patterns at broad spatial scales. In most of my work, I use an ecoinformatics approach, taking advantage of recent developments in technology, computing, statistics, data availability, and ecological modelling. I am particularly interested in the way how environmental factors, species interactions, functional traits, human impacts, and evolutionary history influence species distributions and the structure and assembly of biological communities. This basic ecological research is often linked to applied issues such as global change and biodiversity conservation, and thus of fundamental importance for developing solutions to cross-scale environmental problems in global change biology and conservation management.
My ongoing research at the University of Amsterdam centers on the following research themes:
My research projects are currently supported by the following grants:
Frugivory & palm diversification: an 'ALW Open Programme' grant for a Postdoc entitled 'Has frugivory influenced the macroecology and diversification of a tropical keystone plant family?', obtained from the Dutch National Science Foundation (NWO) (PI & project coordinator)
eEcoLiDAR: an ASDI (Accelerating Scientific Discovery) grant for the project 'eEcoLiDAR, eScience infrastructure for Ecological applications of LiDAR point clouds: reconstructing the 3D ecosystem structure for animals at regional to continental scales' from the Netherlands eScience Center (PI & project coordinator)
Global Ecology & Biodiversity: funding from the University of Amsterdam Faculty Research Cluster ‘Global Ecology’ and through a starting grant from the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Aim is to quantify the distribution of life on Earth, to conduct research on global biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and how drivers of biodiversity change affect ecosystems and their services to humanity (PI & project coordinator)
Recently finished projects:
GLOBIS-B: a coordination & support action (the GLOBIS-B project: "GLOBal Infrastructures for Supporting Biodiversity research") within the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Union (PI & scientific coordinator)