SEMINAR: Animal movements: From individual behaviours to conservation applications. Dr. Thomas Mueller.

In this talk Dr. Thomas Mueller from the Senckenberg Biodiversity & Climate Research Centre / Dept. of Biological Sciences, Goethe-University Frankfurt will discuss how, from basic everyday foraging behaviours to extraordinary long-distance migrations, movements are providing essential processes for biodiversity.

My research bridges across theoretical and applied aspects of movement ecology, from the behavioural underpinnings and social interactions to ecosystem functions and macro-ecological patterns. In this talk I will present case studies that focus on learning and navigation of bird- and mammalian migration as well as ecosystem functions of animal movements. I am particularly interested in studying the exceptional challenges that an increasing human footprint poses for moving animals. How can long distance animal movements persist under increasing landscape fragmentation?

One of our study systems are Mongolia’s eastern steppes, the largest intact temperate grassland ecosystem in the world. Mongolian gazelles roam these steppes in vast number and their nomadic long-distance movements lead to huge area requirements. At the same time Mongolia faces a major economical transition phase that leads to dramatic changes of the steppe landscapes. How to shape human development to allow landscape permeability for moving animals is one of the key questions for applied movement research.

Dr. Müller is working to identify new approaches to better unite progressive economic developments with the preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem functions. His research focuses on the movement ecology of animals and bridges across theoretical and applied research fields. He considers research on animal movements an important avenue for biodiversity conservation by which to forecast effects of rapid environmental change and landscape fragmentation on animal distributions.