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Luca Butikofer

Doctor of Philosophy, (Conservation Biology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Spatial dynamics of anthropogenically altered dispersal patterns

Dispersal is a critical property of living organisms that directly correlates with survival and procreation. However, the natural dispersal of species is often tampered with by human activities. While urbanisation and agriculture fragment the landscape and lay down barriers to species movement, human transportation does the opposite and over-disperses certain organisms that often turn out to become invasive pests. By drawing from a wide breath of disciplines, Mr Bütikofer addressed the ecological consequences of man-mediated alterations to natural dispersal. He published software to model and forecast biological invasions, and formulated a theoretical framework to include the effects of climate change. In addition, he analysed the specific case of the Copper skink in Auckland's North Shore surviving in a highly fragmented, urban landscape. His contributions to this topical subject raise awareness to some overlooked dynamics and provide practical tools for managing the problematic.

Associate Professor Weihong Ji
Dr Manuela Barry

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