Position: UCL postdoctoral researcher / teaching assistant
Office: Carnoy building, room c.143
Biodiversity loss is a well recognized problem nowadays. Population Viability Analysis (PVA) is a modelling tool used by scientists to provide recommendations for decision-making in conservation biology. It uses biological species data and landscape data to simulate the future of (meta)populations under various scenarios.
Conservation biology is a crisis discipline: decisions regarding species preservation have to be taken under time and data constraints. It is therefore very important to (1) define the best trade-off between model complexity and the quality of results it produces, and (2) assess how parts of models can be transferred between different species and/or sites to fill gaps in data.
Therefore my research is aimed at assessing these two points:
Assess whether more complex models deliver improved results or not
Population-based models describe the dynamics of each local population with discrete-time structured matrix models. So, they simulate the future of a (meta)population using a sort of “average individual”. But recently individual-based models have gained more popularity due to their ability to simulate the fate of every distinct individual in the population. These models are however much more data-, labour- and time-demanding compared to population based models.
Traditional models depicted habitat corresponding to “metapopulation view”, thus suitable habitat patches versus hostile matrix. Nowadays more and more scientists tend to see the habitat according to the “resource-based concept”, saying it is important to consider all resources used by an individual at every stage of its life cycle. This is again more complicated.
PVA models will be developed and their results will be confronted with each others to compare individual-based vs population based models, and metapopulation-based vs. resource-based habitat view. As study species, I will use two butterfly species listed as endangered in Belgium.
Test the transferability of model parts between species and/or sites
As some data are often lacking for endangered species, a solution might be to transfer parameter or model parts developed for a species with existing data to the ones for which no data is collected. The question is whether this affects model predictions. Using two study species on several study sites offers a great opportunity for testing such a transferability.
june 2006: BSc in Ecology and Environmental Protection, National Agricultural University of Ukraine
june 2008: MSc in environmental sciences, University of Wageningen (The Netherlands)
october 2008- : PhD student in biological sciences, Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium) (FRIA grant)
- Pe’er G., Matsinos Y.G., Johst K., Franz K.W., Turlure C., Radchuk V., Malinowska A.H., Curtis J.M.R., Naujokaitis-Lewis I., Wintle B. & Henle K. (in press) A protocol for better design, application and communication of population viability analyses. Conservation Biology.
- Radchuk V., Johst K., Groeneveld J., Grimm V. & Schtickzelle N. (2013) Behind the scenes of population viability modeling: predicting butterfly metapopulation dynamics under climate change. Ecological Modelling, 259, 62-73.
- Radchuk V., Turlure C. & Schtickzelle N. (2013) Each life stage matters: the importance of assessing the response to climate change over the complete life cycle in butterflies. Journal of Animal Ecology, 82, 275-285.
[featured in the In Focus section of this issue]
- Turlure C., Radchuk V., Baguette M., Meirjink M., WallisDeVries M. & Van Duinen G-J. (2013) Plant quality and local adaptation undermine relocation in a bog specialist butterfly. Ecology and Evolution, 3, 244-254.
- Radchuk V., WallisDeVries M. & Schtickzelle N. (2012) Spatially and financially explicit population viability analysis of Maculinea alcon in The Netherlands: management guidelines depend on local network characteristics. PLoS ONE, 7(6), e38684.
- Turlure C., Radchuk V., Baguette M., Van Dyck H. & Schtickzelle N. (2011) On the significance of structural vegetation elements for caterpillar thermoregulation in two peat bog butterflies: Boloria eunomia and B. aquilonaris. Journal of Thermal Biology, 36, 173-180.
- Cormont A., Malinowska A.H., Kostenko O., Radchuk R., Hemerik L., WallisDeVries M.F. & Verboom J. (2010). Effect of local weather on butterfly flight behaviour, movement, and colonization: significance of dispersal under climate change. Biodiversity and Conservation, 20, 483-503.