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I am a plant and conservation ecologist interested in the processes governing the assembly of plant communities and species coexistence. I am particularly interested in the determinants of plant rarity and commonness, as well as invasion success or failure. I love multitrophic interactions and I am excited about the role of natural enemies and mutualists in structuring plant strategies and communities.
After doing a lot of research in Bern on invasive and rare species, as well as on the monitoring of endangered plant species in Switzerland, I spend two years as a postdoc in David Wardle´s lab in northern Sweden, where I studied patterns in plant-herbivore interactions along a strong environmental gradient. Specifically, I aimed at understanding how biotic interactions vary along abiotic gradients, one of the largest challenges in ecology in times of global change and the ongoing insect die-off. Moreover, I investigated whether plants are locally adapted to differences in soil fertility and herbivory.
Back in Bern, I am continuing to explore the context-dependency of biotic interactions, recently extending this question to also plant-pathogen interactions above- and belowground. Being involved in a large biodiversity experiment (PaNDiv) which aims to explore the mechanisms by which nitrogen enrichment affects diversity and functioning of communities, I am developing new experimental approaches to investigate the impact of phyllosphere microbiomes on plant communities.
Chronosequence island system in northern Sweden: Islands differ in fire history due to lighting strike – some islands are therefore more nutrient rich than others (as fire releases nutrients). A cool study system to investigate ecological theories along a soil fertility gradient!
Collecting insects on an island in northern Sweden. Are there more or less herbivores with increasing nutrient concentration in the soil?