Spatial and landscape ecology

Landscapes are spatially heterogeneous geographical areas composed of interacting vegetation patches or ecosystems, ranging from natural systems to human-modified environments. Such a template influences key ecological processes and the spatial patterns of species distributions.


Spatial ecology is at the crossroad between ecology and geography. It focuses on identifying spatial patterns in the environment and on examining the influence of such patterns on the geographic distribution of ecological events like the spatial distribution of organisms. Landscape ecology makes use of methodological approaches developed in spatial ecology. One of the core research areas of landscape ecology is to relate landscape patterns across a variety of scales to key ecological processes and mechanisms (e.g. species dispersal, species interactions, habitat selection).

The emphasis of my activities is on:

  • Using spatial modelling techniques to improve the sampling of conservation-interest species
  • Applying spatial modelling techniques to long-term biodiversity monitoring data to document temporal changes in species distributions
  • Understanding the habitat selection patterns and processes of organisms in human-modified landscapes

Read more

Aizpurua et al. (2017) Evaluating the reliability of species distribution models with an indirect measure of bird reproductive performance. Journal of Avian Biology, 48, 1575-1582. [PDF]
Gailly et al. (2017) Effects of the conversion of intensive grasslands into Christmas tree plantations on bird assemblages. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 247, 91-97. [PDF]
Hollander et al. (2017) Timing of breeding in an ecologically trapped bird. The American Naturalist, 189, 515-525. [PDF]
Aizpurua et al. (2015) Reconciling expert judgement and habitat suitability models as tools for guiding sampling of threatened species. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52, 1608-1616. [PDF]