Anna Kostikova


My research interests have been long focused on applied environmental sciences including geoinformatics and remote sensing methods for conservation and sustainable development. However, several years in undertaking and supporting research activities in conservation has lead me to a desire of switching back from applied to fundamental science and I have decided to return to my initial spezialisation in theoretical ecology. Just at that time, I came across of the PhD position at the Univerisity of Lauasanne which focused on evolutionary dynamics of niches of invasive species. The project as I saw it could combine both my applied experience in ecology and nature management, yet would give me an advance taste of evolutionary biology I have always been excited to work on.

The goal of my research project entitled ENNIS – Evolutionary Niche dyNamics of Invasive Species - is to contribute to understanding of how the evolutionary history of a group of plant species (i.e. a genus) influences whether species become invasive in a new area to which they are introduced. This research will help to understand how niche shifts contribute to niche evolution within genera, affect species geographical distributions, and influence the potential for invasiveness. The project will help to identify potentially invasive species before they become introduced. By helping us to understand the evolutionary history of the niche in genera that include invasive species, this research will help to predict the capacity for invasive species to expand beyond the climatic limits in their native ranges. Finally, understanding evolutionary processes that enable species to expand into new environments will improve confidence in the use of species distribution models to predict the potential distributions of invasive species.

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