Last Tuesday, 30th September, Cristina Araújo successfully passed her viva at Fundão, and now she’s a brand new doctor from the Universidade Federal de Rio de Janeiro.
Cris did her PhD work on the organization of dung beetle communities at the altitudinal gradient of Itatiaia National Park (one of the highest elevations of Brazil), under the supervision of Ricardo Monteiro and myself, with the invaluable help of Júlio Louzada and his team at Universidade Federal de Lavras. Apart from the necessary description of the fauna, Cris has evaluated the determinants of local coexistence of Scarabaeinae species from different perspectives, from niche requirements to co-occurrence networks, that will be published in the forthcoming months.
Next January (16th-20th) I’ll be teaching my course on “Measuring Biodiversity: Obtaining data, assessing its quality and generating measures of different aspects of diversity”. This is one of the Advanced Courses 2012 of the Centre for Environmental Biology (CBA) of the Faculdade de Ciencias of the University of Lisbon.
The course is an update of the one I’ve been teaching at, e.g., the University of Alcalá, Federal University of Goiás or Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, among other places. Its aim is to provide the students with a broad view on why we measure biodiversity, how we measure it, and how each measure relates to each aspect of diversity, and which ecological, evolutionary and biogeographical processes may be related to each one of these aspects. Special emphasis is made on how to overcome the limitations of biodiversity data. Although species diversity is the main focus of the course, phylogenetic and – specially – functional diversity are also discussed. A brief description of the course and the registration details can be found here.