My research focuses primarily on animal movement and search strategies. The centrepiece of my work is understanding which internal and external factor trigger animal movement. My experimental approach is to observe and track animal behaviour under controlled conditions in the laboratory using 3D computer vision systems. The ultimate goal of my research is to understand the ecological consequences of animal movement.
During my Ph.D. I investigated zooplankton behavioural diversity analyzing the swimming performance of five marine copepod species that are very common in the Mediterranean Sea. Testing search strategies under different trophic conditions made it possible to highlight their species-specific adaptive traits. I used numerical simulations to assess how small-scale processes, such as predator-prey and mates interaction, may influence the distribution and dynamics of zooplankton populations.
My current research project deals with the causes and ecological consequences of animal migration. I joined the Aquatic Ecology unit at Lund University to study the trade-off of zooplankton vertical migration. New nanobiology technology makes it possible to track small organisms (~ 1 mm) individually and opens new research horizons such as the simultaneous observation of different zooplankton species, gender or developing-stages, under the same simulated conditions. I intend to investigate how small zooplankters explore their environment in search of food and mate while, at the same time, protecting themselves from predation and UV-light cell damage.
Post-Doc host: Lars-Anders Hansson