Dr. Loes van Schaik
Our work generally focuses on the understanding of the relationships between patterns, processes, and functions in dynamic landscapes, with a focus on the feedbacks between biotic and abiotic processes and the development of models for the conservation and sustainable management of species, landscapes, and related ecosystem functions and services. Even though our key tool is modelling, in many cases gathering the field data to support our models is also an important part of our work. Our modelling approaches comprise:
-species distribution models (SDMs, environmental niche models, predictive habitat models), i.e. multi-scale phenomenological, statistical models relating occurrence patterns to environmental predictors
- process-based, mechanistic models of (spatial meta-)population dynamics and dispersal as well as abiotic conditions such as soil water dynamics
- integrated landscape models coupling abiotic, biotic, and economic models. Understanding the drivers of species distributions and predicting the effects of environmental change on species are pivotal prerequisites for understanding and predicting future changes in biodiversity, ecosystem functioning and the provision of ecological services.