A look at biodiversity: Spatial arrangement of species and landscapes
A look at biodiversity: Spatial arrangement of species and landscapes


My name is Luis Carrasco, I’m a postdoctoral fellow at NIMBioS. I’m a spatial ecologist so I study how the spatial arrangement of species and landscapes influence ecological processes. A big question in ecology and conservation is to understand why some places are richer in species and others so for example, most tropical forests are extremely biodiverse while some Deserts or polar regions support very few species But we observed these variations at a smaller scale too as we can find big differences on species diversity in very closed regions I’m especially interested on how the heterogeneity of the landscape affects animal species the idea is that more heterogeneous environments can provide a higher number of Resources or habitats therefore being able to support a higher number of species In the past. I studied how landscape heterogeneity influenced the distribution of herons and egrets in Japan I also studied the patterns of bird richness in the UK showing how different effects or aspects of the heterogeneity such as habitat diversity or structural component have very different effects on bird diversity. At NIMBioS, I’m studying the structure of North American forests looking at how structural complexity determines the diversity of birds mammals and insects During these years of studying landscapes large-scale, I specialized in using remote sensing techniques I combine optical and radar satellite data in platforms such as Google Earth Engine to improve the mapping of habitats. I helped created a national land cover map in the UK, and I’m also collaborating on a project to map oil palm on rubber plantations in Borneo and Sumatra Recently I have being using Lidar data, a remote sensing technique based on laser technologies to study the vegetation structure in the three dimensions Currently, I’m also working on a very exciting project involving spatial data and a planetary scale in order to study whether the global network of protected areas will effectively protect biodiversity in the future under climate changes. For more information about postdoctural fellowships at the national institute for mathematical and biological synthesis visit our website at

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