Katherine Hébert
PhD Student

Integrative Ecology Lab
Department of Biology
University of Sherbrooke

Supervised by Dominique Gravel

Personal website : https://twitter.com/hebert_kat

Integrating biotic interactions into the measurement of biodiversity change

My research project is concerned with how to better integrate biotic interactions into the theory and measurement of biodiversity change. Currently, most metrics of biodiversity change treat taxa as independent entities, although biotic interactions play a key role in determining the distribution and abundance of diversity. I am specifically interested in addressing this omission, starting by assessing whether interacting animal populations covary over time, and how to explicitly account for this covariation when estimating global biodiversity trends with a popular metric, the Living Planet Index (LPI). I also study the theoretical ramifications of biodiversity loss on ecosystems, with a particular focus on co-extinctions (i.e extinction due to the loss of interaction partner(s)), and how co-extinction risk propagates throughout ecological networks.