- Biodiversity - ecosystem functioning
- Landscape ecology
- Conservation biology
- Mammals and birds
- Temperate landscape mosaics
- Tropical rainforests
My research concerns the ecology, functional role and conservation of vertebrates (mammals and birds) under different scenarios of land use and climate change at national and international scales.
Mammals and birds represent mobile links in landscapes, connecting habitat patches and providing important ecosystem services such as seed dispersal and control of herbivorous arthropods through predation. Moreover, they are associated with numerous parasites and pathogens and their high potential as reservoirs for emerging diseases makes some species of health concern for humans and companion animals.
Especially because of intensified land use and global change, animals experience dramatic increases in spatial and temporal variation in site conditions that translate into different demography, behaviour and movement decisions. Empirical investigations of such variation in animal occurrences and species interactions together with quantitative modelling approaches that allow solid predictions under different scenarios of environmental change are therefore a pivotal basis in science-based decisions in wildlife management.
With such background in mind, my research centres on population and community ecology, movement ecology, animal-plant and host-parasite interactions in natural populations of mammals and birds, emphasising the link between these fields for moving towards a mechanistic understanding of the underlying processes.
I am also interested in the application of hierarchical models to better understand population dynamics and community patterns under variable environmental conditions while taking into account that we only observe random snapshots of nature. With rapid global change and biodiversity loss, there is urgent need for systematic conservation decisions. Hierarchical models may help to link the different levels of population dynamics under variable environmental conditions and the long-term distribution and persistence of species that we need to optimally conserve despite conflicting interests on natural environments.
My field work takes mainly place in tropical rainforests (Borneo, SE Asia; see Borneo illustrations ), with a recent focus on host-parasite-pathogen interactions of invasive and native small mammals in different environments. I was involved in the implementation and management of the Biodiversity Exploratories (Swabian Alb, Germany) and associated projects on birds. Parts of my theoretic work took place at the BIK-F in Frankfurt.
- Dr. Konstans Wells
- Institute of Experimental Ecology
- University of Ulm
- Albert-Einstein-Allee 11
- Ulm, Germany