Dr Ramona Maggini
Research Fellow: January 2012 - current
Location: Goddard Building 8, School of Biological Sciences
My main interests are species distribution models (SDMs) and how we can improve and use them for conservation purposes. I started to develop my skills in SDMs during my master thesis already with a project aiming at modelling the distribution of a threatened ant species, Formica exsecta Nyl., within the Swiss National Park (Maggini et al., 2002). I continued during my PhD that I completed in Antoine Guisan’s Ecospat lab in Lausanne, within the framework of the Landspot Project, a project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation. The main goal of the project was to assess the possible contribution of pre-modelled habitat units to model the distribution of animal species within Switzerland. While pursuing this goal, I addressed different methodological issues in relation to Generalized additive models (GAMs) (Maggini et al., 2006) and the effect of the sample size and data stratification (environmental vs. geographic stratification). In collaboration with Dr Anthony Lehmann (UNEP/DEWA/GRID-Europe and University of Geneva, Switzerland), we also developed the first version of the Swiss Environmental Domains (FOEN, GRID-Europe, 2010).
Climate change represents today an additional challenge for conservation. I addressed this issue within the framework of the ClimBird project that I developed during my first postdoc at the Swiss Ornithological Institute. During the first phase of the project, I developed a conceptual framework for analysing species range shifts composed by a catalogue of the possible patterns of change in the distribution of a species along altitudinal or other environmental gradients and an improved quantitative methodology to identify and objectively describe these patterns (Maggini et al., 2011). In the second phase of the project, I modelled the present distribution of 167 breeding bird species in Switzerland using an ensemble of modern techniques (GAMs, BRTs, MARS, Maxent) and I then projected it into the future according to combined scenarios of climate warming and land use change. Assessing the vulnerability of species is very important in order to raise authorities’ awareness and to prioritize conservation actions. Using the results of the modelling and other supplementary information, I thus defined a first vulnerability index for breeding birds in Switzerland (Maggini et al., submitted).
I am currently working on a NCCARF funded project here in Australia, modelling the current and future distribution of Australia’s threatened species under different climate change scenarios and aiming at identifying the optimal restoration and protection strategies to maximize their persistence. I am still very interested in species vulnerability and currently exploring alternative ways to define it.
Publications: Click here
Maggini, R., Lehmann, A., Zbinden, N., Zimmermann, N.E., Bolliger, J., Schröder, B., Foppen, R., Schmid, H., Beniston, M. and L. Jenni. Assessing the vulnerability of Swiss breeding birds to climate and land-use change. Submitted.
Vittoz, P., Cherix, D., Gonseth, Y., Lubini, V., Maggini, R., Zbinden, N. and S. Zumbach. Climate change impacts on biodiversity in Switzerland: a review. Submitted.
Lehmann, A., Maggini, R., Lehmann C. and J. Leathwick. Downscaling land use from available data sources using nearest neighbours and expert systems. Submitted.
Vittoz, P., Cherix, D., Gonseth, Y., Lubini, V., Maggini, R., Zbinden, N. and S. Zumbach, 2011. Les changements climatiques. In: Lachat T., Pauli D., Gonseth Y., Klaus G., Scheidegger C., Vittoz P. and T. Walter (Réd.) 2011, Evolution de la biodiversité en Suisse depuis 1900. Avons-nous touché le fond? Zürich, Bristol-Stiftung; Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, Haupt., p. 348-375.
Maggini, R., Lehmann, A., Kéry, M., Schmid, H., Beniston, M., Jenni, L. and N. Zbinden, 2011. Are Swiss birds tracking climate change? Detecting elevational shifts using response curve shapes. Ecological Modelling, 222: 21–32.
Lehmann, A., Allenbach, K., Maggini, R., Richard, J.-P., Jaquet, J.-M. and H. Dao, 2010. SwissED II: Swiss Environmental Domains – Applications. FOEN Report, Bern, 102 pp. Link
FOEN, GRID-Europe (Lehmann A., Allenbach K., Maggini R., Richard J.-P., Jaquet J.-M. and Dao H.), 2010. Swiss Environmental Domains. A new spatial framework for reporting on the environment. Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), Bern, Switzerland. Environmental studies no. 1024: 71 pp. Link
Maggini, R., Schröder, B., Zimmermann, N.E., Bolliger, J., Lehmann, A., Foppen, R., Kéry, M., Schmid, H., Beniston, M. and N. Zbinden, 2010. Modelling range shifts for Swiss breeding birds. Proceedings of the BOU's 2010 Annual Conference: Climate change and birds. Link: http://www.bou.org.uk/bouproc-net/ccb/maggini-etal.pdf
Vittoz, P., Cherix, D., Gonseth, Y., Lubini, V., Maggini, R., Zbinden, N. and S. Zumbach, 2010. Klimawandel. In: Lachat T., Pauli D., Gonseth Y., Klaus G., Scheidegger C., Vittoz P. and T. Walter (Red.) 2010. Wandel der Biodiversität in der Schweiz seit 1900. Ist die Talsohle erreicht? Bristol-Stiftung; Bern, Stuttgart, Wien, Haupt. S. 350-377.
Allenbach, K., Maggini, R. & Lehmann, A., 2008. Swiss Environmental Domains: Technical report. FOEN Report. Link
Maggini R., Lehmann A., Zimmermann N.E. and Guisan A., 2006. Improving generalized regression analysis for the spatial prediction of forest communities. Journal of Biogeography, 33 : 1729-1749.
Maggini R., Guisan A. and Cherix D., 2002. A stratified approach for modeling the distribution of a threatened ant species in the Swiss National Park. Biodiversity and Conservation, 11: 2117-2141.
Maggini, R., Guisan, A. & Cherix, D., 1999. Etude de la distribution de Formica exsecta Nyl. à l'aide d'un système d'information géographique. Cratschla, 2: 20.
Cherix, D., Maggini, R., Guisan, A., Schneider, M.-A. & Y. Gonseth. 1999. Echantillonner, oui mais comment ? In : Actes de la 2e Conférence sur les espaces protégés alpins, Aosta, Italia, Octobre 1998.