This proposal, BIODIVERSITYALTITUDE, is for a 24 months intra-European career development fellowship at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen in Denmark (host institution).
In summary, this project investigates plant biodiversity and usage dynamics within plant communities using a cross-disciplinary framework spanning ecology (altitude), biodiversity (species numbers), evolution (phylogeny), and ethnobotany. Using a comprehensive generic phylogeny of the Nepalese Himalayan flora, extensive elevation distributional data of plants in the flora of Nepal, and ethnobotanical information from the literature, this study will explore changes in biodiversity, phylogenetic diversity, and plant usage along an altitudinal gradient. This project will aim to reveal patterns in biodiversity turnover along an altitudinal gradient using modern evolutionary methods. It will also investigate the dynamics of plant usage along this gradient. By shedding light on the processes that shape plant biodiversity and plant usage along ecological gradients, the results from this study will help us understand how to best protect and utilise biodiversity sustainably, which is particularly timely in the face of imminent climatic changes.
Dr. Charilaos Haris Saslis-Lagoudakis has studied and worked in several institutions in Greece and the United Kingdom. He has applied modern approaches to understand evolutionary patterns in biodiversity and ethnobotany and, at the age of 28, he has produced several publications in some of the best journals of different fields, as well as in general science journals. The additional scientific and technical skills and expertise gained during this IEF will be of great value to Dr Saslis-Lagoudakis in the next phase of his research career. He will also gain a series of valuable complementary skills in project management and career planning, leading to his maturation into an independent researcher.
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