Pollinators and seasonal variation in floral resources and mortality
I am currently carrying out two projects in which we study how bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are affected by changed seasonal variation in flower resources. Our goal is to better understand how mass-flowering crops and phenological mismatch with seasonal resource peaks influence population dynamics, competition and life-history optimization among pollinators. We also consider the effects of episodes of increased mortality, for example due to pesticide exposure, drought or outbreaks of diseases. By studying the temporal aspects of the pollinator environment we hope to provide new perspectives on how climate change and pesticide use influence diversity of pollinators and the ecosystem services they provide.
This research is a collaboration between researchers at:
- Imperial College (Dr. Richard Gill),
- Lund University (Prof. Henrik Smith),
- University Pierre and Marie Curie (Prof. Nicholas Loeuille), and the
- Swedish National Phenology Network (coordinator Dr. Kjell Bolmgren).
The two projects are funded by:
- an International Career Grant INCA (600 kEuro) from the Swedish Research Council (2015-00302) with additional support from Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions, Cofund, Projekt INCA 60039 and by
- a Project Grant Future Research Leaders (160 kEuro) from the Swedish Research Council Formas (942-2015-839).
Climate change and phenological mismatch in species interactions
During the past few years I have studied the eco-evolutionary consequences of climate-driven phenological shifts using game theory and population dynamic models. I collaborate with Dr. Jörgen Ripa, Dr. Kjell Bolmgren, Dr. Nadiah Kristensen, Dr. Kenneth Schmidt and others to investigate how individuals should respond to climate change in terms of the timing of seasonal events and how timing affects demography and population densities. We study these problems for a range of systems, e.g. timing of flowering in annual plants, migration phenology in birds, prospecting time for nest predation risk and phenological responses in food chains. Our hope is to uphold and further develop the scientific legacy of our friend and colleague Prof. Niclas Jonzén (1973-2015) who initiated this line of research.
This research is funded by the Swedish Research Council (via 2012–3620 to Niclas Jonzén) and I have also obtained financial support from BECC for research and synergistic activities.
Evolution of ecological communities and Adaptive Dynamics
Ever since I started my PhD with Dr. Jörgen Ripa, I have been interested in general evolutionary problems such as speciation in variable environments, optimization of life histories and how environmental stochasticity influences evolution of ecological communities.
For many problems, I employ techniques known as Adaptive Dynamics to study ecological feedback on evolutionary processes. Together with Prof. Ulf Dieckmann, IIASA, I have developed the concept of Evolutionary Domain of Attraction (EDA, which allows an extension of the classic evolutionary analysis for single species based on Evolutionary Stable Strategies (ESS) and convergence stability to multispecies scenarios. The EDA concept may for example be used to study whether an ecological community can be restored through gradual evolution, following the extinction of one or more of its member species.