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Integrating biological information in models predicting climate change impacts on amphibians

Grant number: 19/04637-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Physiology of Recent Groups
Principal researcher:Carlos Arturo Navas Iannini
Grantee:Rafael Parelli Bovo
Supervisor abroad: Barry Raymond Sinervo
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Santa Cruz (UC Santa Cruz), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/10338-0 - Integrating physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes for comprehension of populational and species' responses to environmental changes, BP.PD

Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms underlying species responses to environmental changes and their association with sensitivity or resilience to extinction remains challenging. A leading framework relies on approaches known as "mechanistic models" that link physiological mechanisms to ecological patterns in various contexts. However, an effervescent debate is on how to integrate physiological traits (and which ones) into these models, as well as which characteristics are considered fundamental (e.g. species phenology, reproductive modes, habitat use), to comprehend species' resilience in or extirpation of the habitat under climate change scenarios. In this project, I aim to evaluate biological information of amphibians, with emphasis on physiological traits, inserted into mechanistic models that estimate spatiotemporal vulnerability of populations and species to extinction risk. Amphibians are suffering from numerous population declines and extinctions, yet the group also exhibits some aggressive invasive species. Thus, it is fundamental to understand why lineages differ in sensitivity to climate change, and what mechanisms (e.g., physiological ones) underlie resilience, when present. Anticipated results of this abroad internship are i) novel and robust assessments - rooted in biological information - of species vulnerability and population extinction risk of amphibians from Brazil, and ii) acquirement of new competences allowing me to be part of a new generation of postdoctoral research fellows trained in the latest integrative methods in climate change studies. Long-lasting results of i) and ii) may, respectively, guide conservation strategies and yield me skills to develop, in the near future, groundbreaking studies of species responses to environmental changes, under mechanistic modeling, integrating other environmental layers of complexity beyond climate. (AU)

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