Alpine Aliens

w/ Achaz von Hardeberg & Dr. Mauro Bassignana (IAR, Aosta, Italy – External partner)

The invasion of alien species in ecosystems is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss worldwide. Invasive plant species can have a particularly significant impact on the abundance and diversity of resident plants, with consequent cascading ecosystem wide effects (Vilà et al. 2011). This project will focus on the distribution and spread dynamics of three invasive alien species recently accidentally introduced in Aosta Valley (Italy). The external partner of this project (Institut Agricolé Regional, IAR) will provide survey data for all three species collected in 2009-2010. This project will allow you to develop analytical and statistical modelling skills applied to an important conservation issue, which are particularly requested on the job market. You will help with field data collection in Spring-Summer 2019 in Aosta Valley in Italy. This project would suit someone keen to work in the field as well as develop key employability skills. This project will involve fieldwork in the Italy and students should be expected to be based there during the field season. It will require good networking skills and the ability to work independently. The ability to speak Italian would be beneficial but not essential.