Daniel Hernández

PhD student

My academic path started at the University of Girona, Spain, where I studied Biology and Environmental Science. During my BS, I collaborated with the Institute of Aquatic Ecology (IEA) to monitor zooplankton, macroinvertebrate, and fish communities in Mediterranean lagoons with extreme seasonal dynamics. In my Senior thesis, I studied the role of naturally harsh environmental conditions and zooplankton composition in size structuring one of the few remaining populations of an endangered fish species. After my BS, my passion for Ecology in a broad sense took me to the University of Barcelona, where I studied an MS in Ecology, Environmental Management and Restoration. There, I got introduced to network analyses for the study of biotic interactions, which immediately captivated my attention and inspired my MS thesis about their use for monitoring natural systems after restoration actions.

I am fascinated by the intricacies of natural systems. In particular, I am intrigued by the processes that determine the structure of ecological communities in space and time such as environmental constraints, dispersal limitations or biotic interactions. I believe that a deeper mechanistic understanding of ecological systems is crucial for predicting their dynamics in a global change context and could lead to better data-driven policies. Joining the Tonkin Lab is a great opportunity for me to contribute to this purpose. My project will integrate empirical data and simulations to better comprehend the implications of seasonal changes in environmental conditions and their predictability for biodiversity.

interests: Community ecology | Biotic interactions | Metacommunity theory | Freshwater ecosystems | R programming | Data visualization

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