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Postdoctoral Fellows

Dr Raquel A Garcia

Office: PD Hahn 6.74
Email: raquel.ag@gmail.com

Research Interests:Climate change biology; Biogeography; Conservation biology

Biographical Information

I became interested in biodiversity while working as an environment and development consultant in Africa. My previous work in Africa spanned a range of issues from protected area assessment to community-based natural resource management. Later in 2009, my focus turned to conservation planning under climate change, and in 2010 I enrolled in a PhD at the University of Copenhagen. Supervised by Miguel Araújo (Imperial College London) and Mar Cabeza (University of Helsinki), I focused my research on the uncertainty of projected climate change impacts on biodiversity, with a focus on African vertebrates.

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding and predicting the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. I address this challenge using bioclimatic modelling, trait-based approaches, and climate space analyses. I am interested in combining such assessments with field/ experimental approaches and new types of data that can shed light on organismal and population responses to climatic changes.

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Statistics for Ecology, Environment and Conservation Group at UCT, and the Department of Botany and Zoology at the University of Stellenbosch. Together with Res Altwegg and Guy Midgley, I am exploring species range shifts for Southern African birds, using data from two sequential bird atlases and climate records. I am interested in exploring similar questions for amphibians in Madagascar and South Africa, and am also collaborating with colleagues at the University of Copenhagen in trying to explain population changes in the Pleistocene using climate space analyses.

On the teaching side, I have been responsible since 2012 for the practical component of an international PhD course on Species Distribution Modelling under Climate Change at the University of Copenhagen. I am also involved in an MSc course on biodiversity monitoring and conservation in Madagascar, organised by the University of Helsinki.

Publications

  • Platts, P.J., Garcia, R.A., Hof, C., Foden, W.B., Hansen, L., Rahbek, C., and Burgess, N.D. 2014. Conservation implications of omitting narrow-ranging and threatened species from climate change impact modelling. Diversity & Distributions, DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12244.
  • Garcia, R.A., Cabeza, M., Rahbek, C. & Araújo, M.B. 2014. Multiple dimensions of climate change and their implications for biodiversity. Science, 344: 6183.
  • Garcia, R.A., Araújo, M.B., Burgess, N.D., Foden, W.B., Gutsche, A., Rahbek, C. and Cabeza, M. (2014). Matching species traits to projected risks from climate change. Journal of Biogeography, 41(4): 724-735.
  • Garcia, R.A., Burgess, N.D., Cabeza, M., Rahbek, C. & Araújo, M.B. (2012). Exploring consensus in 21st century projections of climatically suitable areas for African vertebrates. Global Change Biology, 18: 1253-1269.
  • Garcia, R.A. and M.B. Araújo. 2010. Planejamento para a Conservação em um Clima em Mudança. Natureza & Conservação 8:78-80 (English version available in Supplementary Material: 'Conservation Planning under Climate Change').