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Biography

Claudia Gutierrez is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Biology (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2006-2010) and a Master of Science in Biodiversity and Conservation (University of Southampton, 2012-2013).

Her research covers biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation, tropical forests, global patterns of biodiversity, wildlife-ecosystem services relationship, ecosystems modelling and spatial analysis.

Research

Thesis title: 'Modelling effects of land-use change from forest to cropland on faunal ecosystem service provision and demand in the tropics'

Land use and cover change are considered as part of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and the deterioration of ecosystem services globally. Currently, the highest land conversion is occurring in tropical regions. Although the relevance of biodiversity for the maintenance of ecosystem processes and the delivery of services are recognised, the relationship between different biodiversity components and ecosystem services are still not well understood.

Animal populations are providers of key regulating services: pollination, pest and disease control and seed dispersal – the so-called faunal ecosystem services (FES). FES are much more tightly linked to wildlife populations and biodiversity than most ecosystem services, whose determinants are largely climatic and related to vegetation structure.

Degradation of ecosystems by land-use change thus has much more potential to affect FES. This research aims to assess how land-use change, from forest to cropland, impacts the distribution of FES provision and demand at the pantropical scale, as a result of habitat degradation and the loss of FES providers.

PhD supervision

Further details

See Claudia's research profile