​Diversity, Behavior and Ecosystem Functions of Birds and Mammals

PD Dr. Matthias Schleuning, matthias.schleuning@senckenberg.de, 069-7542 1892

Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller, thomas.mueller@senckenberg.de, 069-7542 1889


The module addresses key questions of ecological research, especially how biodiversity is distributed across the Earth, which factors determine animal movements, and how species interact and coexist in ecosystems. By addressing these questions, the module conveys key concepts and methods in macroecology, movement ecology, functional ecology and community ecology. Knowledge gained in these fields is relevant for conservation biology, e.g., to maintain ecosystem functions such as avian seed dispersal and to protect global biodiversity hotspots. The lecture and associated seminar discussions provide a critical overview of key ecological concepts in these fields and apply the theoretical principles to conservation biology. In the practical, the participants will learn and conduct quantitative analyses and models using the software R. Participants will project species distributions and diversity under climate change and develop and test models of animal movements. In one week of fieldwork, participants will observe interactions between birds and fruit-bearing plants and use these data to analyse land-use effects on avian seed dispersal. As part of the practical, the participants will conduct student projects based on the analyses of large-scale biodiversity patterns, animal movements and/or plant-bird interactions. Participants will also gain insights into ongoing research projects at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (SBiK-F). As part of the practical, one week of field work is taught outside of Frankfurt (usually in early July).

Time slot of the module - second half of the summer semester

Number of participants - 12

Special features - As part of the practical, one week of field work is taught outside of Frankfurt (usually in early July).

Homepage - 

Community Ecology and Macroecology

Functional Ecology and Global Change

Geobiodiversity Research

Movement Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation