Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Ronja Ratzbor: PhD Student

I am a PhD student in a DFG funded project on the effect of habitat heterogeneity on species diversity in semi-natural grassland ecosystems (HEDGE 2), which is part of the DFG Priority Programme ‘Biodiversity Exploratories’.

I studied Geoecology at the University of Tübingen. My main research interest is population ecology of grassland species and how they are influenced by land-management.

My PhD work continues the HEDGE project which focuses on heterogeneity and diversity in grassland ecosystems. With the experimental work I continue a large microcosm experiment of the first phase of the project, conduct a new pot experiment and field work in the three Biodiversity Exploratories. All parts are designed to test the area-heterogeneity trade-off (AHTO) [Allouche et al., 2012]. This model rethinks the effect of heterogeneity on diversity depending on area. There are also possibilities to do a Master or Bachelor thesis on this project as well as to join as a HiWi.

Prior to my PhD I already worked on plant populations of the species Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum L. at lake Federsee. In my Master thesis I implemented a matrix model in R to run a population viability analysis (PVA) for this species.

I was founding member of the University initiative “Bunte Wiese” (Colorful Meadow). This group motivates the University and the City of Tübingen to change over from intensive to extensive management of within-city greens to foster species richness. A monitoring through scientific works about different meadow species takes place.

For my Bachelor thesis I studied habitat preference in dependence of fish density of the species Cottus gobio in an artificial stream and a small creek in Switzerland.