My PhD research explores the relationship between biodiversity and land-use regimes along elevational gradients in tropical mountains (the Colombian Andes) using butterflies as a focal taxonomic group.
Tropical mountains are extremely biodiverse and demonstrate a great deal of species turnover as one moves from low to high. I will examine these biodiversity patterns in native forests and in pastures, a dominant land-use form throughout the Colombian Andes. As there are many mechanisms at play giving rise to the diverse array of butterfly species along these gradients, I will complement butterfly sampling data with species traits and microclimate data. These data will illustrate patterns of species identity and diversity and elucidate the mechanisms driving such patterns.
When I’m not hiking in the Andes catching butterflies, I’m usually hiking around somewhere else, exploring and providing trivia on odonates to my hiking companions. When not hiking for work or pleasure, I enjoy baking and spending time with my cat.