Global change drivers (e.g. habitat fragmentation, exotic / invasive species), plant-herbivore & plant-pollinator interactions, trophic cascades, ecosystem services, forest ecology, functional diversity, meta-analysis
Focus of my research is the impact of human-driven landscape changes, i.e. increasing agricultural land-use and the related process of habitat fragmentation, on complex trophic networks and ecosystem functioning. In particular, I address effects on mutualistic (plant-pollinator) and antagonistic interactions (plant-herbivore, predator-prey) by investigating changes in species diversity and community assemblages across multiple trophic levels (e.g. insectivorous birds, insect herbivores and plants). Conclusions derived by this holistic approach enable to assess whether human-driven landscape changes threaten ecosystem processes and further, trigger cascades in complex trophic networks.
In addition to field studies, I consider ecological meta-analyses as a promising statistical tool to synthesize findings across empirical studies and thus, to explore general ecological patterns.
Overall, my research aims at contributing management implications to maintain biodiversity and trophic networks which will benefit both ecosystem functioning as well as human well-being in a rapidly changing world.