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Biodiversity-Seminar: Agents, Neutrality and Plankton. A short trip from theoretical ecology to applied individual-based models



WSL Birmensdorf, Englersaal


Nadia Castro Izaguirre


Dr. Johan Früh, Post doc at WSL


Sabine Fink




Vorträge und Kolloquien


Anyone interested in the topics


Understanding the inter-species competition dynamics that determine the species we observe within existing assemblages remains a challenge in ecology. The concept of niches has, in part, helped and it has been a foundation for the development of useful tools (ie: species distribution maps). However, stochasticity also plays an important role in assembly, as underlined by the Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity.

For my PhD at the University of Leeds (UK), I explored how species richness affects the niche-neutral continuum, in other words: to which extent community assembly is deterministic (determined by niches) or stochastic (reflecting neutral theory). One main method of exploring the niche-neutral continuum is the use of individual-based models, as these reflect the very concept behind neutral models.

During this presentation, I will first describe the concepts behind the niche-neutral continuum and the use of individual-based models. I will then skim across various projects developed during my PhD and conclude with the current state of a project I am currently working on at the WSL: an intuitive tool that combines species distribution maps and individual-based models to assess potential friction between nearby-recreation users and sensitive wildlife.


Link for online participation

Please send an Email to Nadia Castro Izaguirre if you would like to get access to the live stream.


The Biodiversity Seminar Series (BD-Seminars) are organized by the WSL Biodiversity Center. Every two weeks, we aim to host a seminar speaker that presents research or outreach on topics relevant to the biodiversity community at WSL. The seminars are public and are usually broadcasted online.

Find out more about the WSL Biodiversity Center and a complete list of events here:

Please send an Email to Nadia Castro Izaguirre if you would like to be updated on the activities of the WSL Biodiversity Center.