MyScience   Martijn van de Pol        

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Research interests


I'm interested in behavioural, evolutionary and population ecology, and especially the interaction between individual variation in life-history decisions, environmental variability and population processes. So I consider myself to be both an ecologist as well as evolutionary biologist; possibly I might best describe myself as an 'evolutionary demographer'. My interest in this topic is from a fundamental as well as an applied perspective (climate change ecology, conservation biology).

I am trained both as a field biologist and theoretical biologist. Therefore, in my research I take a combined approach of theoretical and empirical work, in which hypotheses are mathematically formalized which are put to the test using  field experiments and data from decade-long population studies on birds.




Questions I work on include:

  • What are the mechanisms by which animals adapt to climate change and is it fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing climate (i.e. eco-evolutionary dynamics)?

  • How do animals respond to stochastic extreme climatic events, such as increased flooding risks and heatwaves?

  • How is adapting to extreme climatic events different from adapting to climate trends?

  • What determines why some type of species more prone to extinction than others?

  • What is the interactive effect of different threaths to species (climate change, habitat fragmentation, predation)?

  • Optimal life-history strategies and fitness of species with age-structured life-cycles living in a stochastic environment

Finally, I have a special interest in developing better statistical methods to analyze complex datasets, as typically encountered in long-term studies on natural populations (see also my software page). 


  • Andrew Cockburn & Lyanne Brouwer (Australian National University)

  • Loeske Kruuk (University of Edinburgh (UK)

  • Yngvild Vindenes (University of Oslo, Norway)

  • Bernt-Erik Sæther, Steinar Engen & Ivar Herfindal (Centre for Conservation Biology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway)

  • Bruno Ens & Kees Oosterbeek (Dutch Centre for Field Ornithology SOVON, The Netherlands).

  • Hans de Kroon & Eelke Jongejans (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands).

  • Joost Tinbergen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands)

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     last updated 21/02/12