Movement and Population Ecology
Theme leaders: Francesca Cagnacci, Øyvind Steifetten and Erlend Nilsen
Ecology is fundamentally spatial, as all processes, from individual survival to inter-individual competition, to population distribution, depend on the ecological context. The availability of outstanding tools to record and quantify both individual animal movement and ecosystem characteristics has spurred lots of interest in this domain. This Thematic group aims at training PhD students in the advanced technologies and methodologies that constitute the state-of-the-art of such research domain, while also focusing on the main applied questions that can be addressed by the study of animal movement and landscapes. Hence, we aim at translating general approaches of the ecological theory into problem-solving tools for current and pressing issues in applied ecology, such as, for example, connectivity, fragmentation, climate change impact, and effect of anthropogenic resources on wildlife communities.
Understanding how wildlife populations develop and function is becoming ever more important in a world where populations are increasingly subjected to new challenges. This especially concerns applied sciences such as wildlife management and conservation biology. The proposed group will be a sub-group of the “Movement and spatial ecology” group, but will focus more on how basic demographic and environmental factors affect the development, dynamics and viability of populations. However, the two groups are not completely separated, neither formally nor scientifically; topics covered in the former group are likely to also be relevant to members of this group. Teaching will have both a theoretical and a practical (e.g. methods/tools to estimate population density and viability) approach. Most importantly, the group will act as a forum where individual students can present their own research, and share with others any questions, problems or possible solutions related to different aspects of population ecology and dynamics.