My focus is on the biological and structural importance of secondary tropical forests. I study how forest complexity recovers over time in regrowth forests in the Tropical Andes. This has significant biological effects as forest structures are used as microhabitats (shelter) for a large number of taxa (e.g. insects, amphibians). Additionally, microhabitats can provide protection against extreme weather events by buffering the ambient temperatures that exceed species tolerance. This prevents species to move to more suitable climates under increasingly warmer climate change scenarios. As such, I also measure the ability of microhabitats to buffer temperature along a forest gradient, and I evaluate the biological impact that this microhabitat buffering can have on amphibians (genus Pristimantis) by measuring the species’ thermal tolerance to heat or its Critical Thermal Maximum (CTMax).
The Tropical Andes is a region drastically affected by land use change (up to 75% of the Tropical Andes has been converted to agriculture), and is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. At present, secondary tropical forests have begun to grow as a consequence of land abandonment, and I aim to support the importance of secondary forests as a conservation tool.
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One of my favourite activities is swimming, especially in open waters. I also love animals (mainly mammals, reptiles and amphibians). For me, playing with animals, whether fluffy puppies or funky snakes is a great source of pleasure! I also enjoy reading a good book with a nice cup of coffee. I love travelling, meeting new people and having a good laugh with friends.