Fernando Colchero
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Conservation demography

Today we are witnessing an unprecedented biodiversity crisis, where species are becoming threatened with extinction at an alarming rate. As Prof. Hal Caswell describes it, extinction is essentially a demographic process, in which the number of deaths in a population exceeds the number of births. If we are to attenuate or even stop the extinction of populations in the wild we have to improve our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate survival and fecundity. This is particularly relevant today that climate change is not only increasing global temperatures and the frequency of extreme events, but also the variability in local environmental conditions.

Fernando Colchero
Fernando Colchero

Here, in collaboration with Dr. Dalia A. Conde's group, we are tackling these pressing issues from different fronts. For example, we are exploring how populations with different age-specific trajectories of mortality and fecundity respond to increased variability in environmental conditions and how this interplay affects population growth rates (see Population Dinamics section). We are also exploring how we can improve the estimation of key demographic variables such as generation time, which has become an essential component of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) assessments of the level of threat for a large number of species (see Johanna Stärk's project).

Fernando Colchero