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WSL ecologist awarded prestigious EU grant

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Catherine Graham of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) receives one of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants. With the research award amounting to 2,5 mio Euro she can further pursue her research on ecological interactions of plants and animals.

 

Central to Graham’s work is the study of the diversity and forms of hummingbirds and the tropical forest plants they feed on. Her research is concerned with a central enigma of ecology, namely why the diversity of species and the nature of the plant-animal interactions change over time and space. She will evaluate this studying hummingbirds and plants across elevation gradients in three biogeographic regions with distinct evolutionary histories (mountain regions in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Brazil).

Based on this knowledge Graham will develop a predictive model of how species interactions will change from present to future – something which is essential for conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services. The approach developed in this proposal will be broadly  relevant for network ecology and can be applied to multiple systems, including those currently being studied by other researchers at WSL.

Catherine Graham has been a Senior Researcher at the WSL’s Biodiversity and Conservation Unit since mid-2016. With the ERC grant, she will be able to proceed with her project named “Developing the predictive ecology of plant-animal interactions across space and time” for the next five years.

Each year, the European Research Council (ERC) awards a number of grants to either researchers early in their career or advanced leaders in their respective fields. The ERC Advanced Grant is for established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements totaling €2,5 million over 5 years.

 

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