Our research focuses on the origin, maintenance, and consequences of amphibian and reptile diversity at different levels (species-, beta-, and functional diversity) both within and between local communities and across different spatial, habitat, and disturbance gradients. Currently we mainly work in two globally important eco-regions, the Guiana Shieldof Northern South America and the Upper Guinea Forest Block of West Africa. But we also maintain projects in Peru, Brazil, Malaysia, Nepal, China, and Germany.
The ultimate goal of our research is to reach a more profound understanding of ecosystem processes at large scales and to improve the effectiveness of current ecosystem management strategies (RF: Biodiversity and Ecosystems) This involves theory and practice of (trait-based) community ecology, community phylogenetics, population ecology, animal ecology and tropical biology, conservation biology, ethology, taxonomy, and biology of amphibians and reptiles (RF: Biodiversity and Systematics), as well as the development of statistical models and standard methods for assessing and monitoring tropical amphibian communities under global change(RF: Biodiversity and Climate).
The SNSD’s collections from the Guiana Shield contribute to this work and represent the backbone of several thorough taxonomic, phylogeographic, and ecological studies. In combination with other important holdings, mainly from the Eurasian, Central, and South-East Asian realms, it can be considered a valuable biological data base that provides interested researchers with a wealth of information and indispensable data.