Mariëlle van Toor
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
Migration and Immuno-Ecology
There is a tight relationship between the realized ecological niche of a species and its spatial distribution, which is used frequently in the study of spatial patterns, diversity and conservation. And although the ecological niche seems to be stable in certain scales of time and space, a species and its environment are usually not at equilibrium. Life-history stages of a species might come with different requirements for their habitat, which itself is subject to continuous change over the seasons.
Mariëlle is interested in the dynamics of this niche-environment relationship, and how its comprehension can support the study of animal migrations. For her thesis, she develops a method to find breaking points in habitat use, provide a timeseries of behaviourally consistent species distribution models, and ultimately expedite our understanding of animal movement.