Dr Bec Harris has been awarded a prestigious Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to work with Prof Klaus Henle at the Department of Conservation Biology, Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, in Leipzig next year.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars across the world. It provides the opportunity to carry out long-term research (6-24 months) in Germany. Applicants choose their own topic of research and their academic host.
Bec’s research will test the relationship between ecosystem stability, diversity and extreme events (flooding and drought) in floodplain grassland communities. Using long-term field observations, Bec will investigate species, functional and phylogenetic diversity, an integrated approach that has not been widely utilised to understand ecosystem stability in any taxonomic groups. The approach will improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind community responses to climate change, rather than report changes as they occur. This will improve our ability to identify species or functional types most susceptible to climate change.
“The Fellowship offers me the opportunity to develop ongoing international collaborations, bringing together my research interests in biodiversity and ecosystem stability under ongoing climate change,” said Bec. “Being part of the Humboldt Network will provide opportunities for many years to come after my stay in Germany next year.”