for graduate and undergraduate students

We are looking for motivated students interested in questions about wildlife dynamics and distributions under global change, animal behavioral ecology or advancing theory in ecology and evolution. Students should have a strong background in (or the will to learn) R, statistics and modelling. Please contact us for possible thesis subjects and state your skills and interests.

TU Berlin students, please consider the Reader for the steps necessary to conduct a thesis. Successful attendance of our courses ‘biodiversity dynamics I + II’ , where we teach spatial R, distribution modelling and occupancy modelling, is of advantage.

Below, you will find a list of offers for Bachelor- and Master-theses, an overview over currently running theses as well as a list of completed theses for your information.

Thesis offers:

P1: Assessing the spread of the German wolf population (contact Julie Louvrier). We currently develop a dynamic model in Netlogo to reconstruct the expansion of the German wolf population (see Wildlife distribution Project on Team2 page). The student will investigate different literature-derived movement rules for wolves (whether related to habitat, population density etc.) and their influence on the fate of the population on a national scale. The student will work on a developed spatially-explicit agent-based model. Sound knowledge in NetLogo and spatial R is required.

P2: Factors related to Berlin urban mammal diversity (contact Julie Louvrier). The student will run a two- species-interaction occupancy model or a multi-species occupancy model with frequentist or Bayesian approach on urban mammal diversity. The data was obtained from a camera-trap project within gardens of Berlin citizens (see Urban Wildlife Ecology Project on Team2 page). Several species can be investigated as well as their interactions in regard to different environmental factors at the city scale but also at the garden scale. Knowledge in spatial R and occupancy models is of advantage.

P3: Responses of migratory birds towards the urbanisation gradient (contact Aimara Planillo). We expect that residents start breeding earlier on in the season, especially in more urbanized areas, where the competition for nesting sites will be strongest.  We will work with a dataset that contains the species and breeding territories present at each of the 30 Berlin transects. Data analyses will consist of three main steps. First, to obtain the relevant information for the 30 transects of the monitoring program, extracting spatial information from GIS data. Second, a preliminary exploration of the environmental data and the bird data to understand the potential patterns and select the appropriate environmental variables for the analysis. Finally, the proxy for arrival times (number of visit) will be analyzed in relation to migratory status and to environmental variables using generalized linear mixed models (GLMM).

P4: Functional traits of urban birds (contact Aimara Planillo). The project will focus on data from bird species in Berlin and analyze the relationship between functional traits (such as body size, diet preference or nest type) and environmental conditions in the urbanization gradient. The main objectives are: i) define species response to urbanization based on their functional traits (avoidance, tolerance, exploitation of urbanized areas); ii) identify the key species traits that determine species response to urbanization; iii) compare community composition in terms of functional traits in different sites of the urbanization gradient (rural – suburban – urban). Trait response to urbanization and trait diversity will be analyzed using multiple statistical techniques adequate for each question. Diversity analyses will be performed using Hill numbers, and traits responses to urbanization gradient will be analyzed by multivariate (multiresponse) analyses.

P5: Population trends of birds inhabiting urban areas (contact Aimara Planillo). To assess population trends of different breeding birds it is essential to follow the birds´ breeding behaviour and abundance across several years. By comparing numbers of successive monitoring years within different monitoring periods (e.g. between 2000 – 2019) it is possible to look at recent developments of selected species. Using spatial data and General linear models we will analyze abundance patterns through the years and identity possible traits that allow species to flourish in urban habitats.

Selection of theses currently running under our supervision:

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MSc, K Ghimire

Evaluating the habitat suitability of tiger in Bardia National Park and Buffer Zone areas, Nepal

TU Dresden

Supervision: Uta Berger (TUD), Stephanie Kramer-Schadt (TUB/IZW)

Photo by Jonas Von Werne on Pexels.com

BSc, S Festl

Einfluss einer Unterrichtsein-heit über Wildbienen auf die Einstellungen, die Emotio-nen und das Wissen von Schülern

TU Berlin

Supervision: Tanja Straka, Ingo Kowarik (TUB), Stephanie Kramer-Schadt (TUB/IZW)

MSc, K Kasper

Density and life-history of the Sunda clouded leopard Neofelis diardi in the Deramakot Forest Complex, Sabah, Malaysia.

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Supervision:Thomas Müller (SBiK-F), Andreas Wilting (IZW)

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BSc, E Solem

Birds in the city: modelling taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity in Berlin

HU zu Berlin

Supervision: Aimara Planillo (IZW), Stephanie Kramer-Schadt (TUB/IZW), Tobias Kümmerle (HU)

(c) KORA

BSc, J Bellack

Small-Scale Habitat Selection of the European Wildcat Felis silvestris silvestris in the Bernese Seeland, Switzerland

TU Berlin

Supervision: Lea Maronde (KORA), Stephanie Kramer-Schadt (TUB/IZW)

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MSc, M Grabow

Modelling Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) occurrence along urban gradients in Berlin

TU Berlin

Supervision: Julie Louvrier (IZW), Aimara Planillo (IZW), Stephanie Kramer-Schadt (IZW)


Interested? Contact us!


Completed theses

2021

  • What contribution can non-standardized Citizen Science data make in biodiversity monitoring? 21.01.2021. MSc. Lena Fiechter. TU Berlin. Supervision: Planillo A, Kramer-Schadt S, Heucke-Voigt S (MfN).
  • A habitat suitability model for Grey Crowned Cranes (Balearica regulorum) in Rwanda based on sightings. 04.01.2021. MSc. Ann-Marie Attenberger. TU Berlin. Supervision: Olivier Nsengimana (RWCA), Kramer-Schadt S, vd Lippe M (TUB).

2020

  • A population viability and connectivity analysis for the alpine lynx (Lynx lynx) population. 19.11.2020. MSc. Eva Sanchez Arribas. Uppsala University, Sweden. Supervision: Kramer-Schadt S, Planillo A, Molinari-Jobin A (KORA).
  • Influence of roost site availability on activity of forest-dwelling bats above coniferous forests. 15.10.2020. BSc. Franziska Röpke. Ökologie und Umweltplanung. TU Berlin. Supervision: Volker Kelm (K&S Umweltgutachten), Kramer-Schadt S.
  • Spatial, temporal and interindividual determinants of wildlife-vehicle collision mortality in spotted hyenas in the Serengeti National Park between 1989 and 2020. 25.06.2020. Masterarbeit: Marwan Naciri, Master Biosciences École Normale Supérieure (ENS) Lyon, Frankreich. Supervision: Benhaiem S, Gicquel M, Planillo A, East M, Hofer H.
  • Using social network analysis on a population of reintroduced Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) to understand decisions of migratory association. 03.08.2020. Masterarbeit: Sinah Drenske. Ökologie und Umweltplanung. Technische Universität Berlin. Supervision: Kramer-Schadt S, Radchuk V, Benhaiem S, Landgraf C.

2019

  • Demography and population viability of the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita), a reintroduced bird species. 04.02.2019. Bachelorarbeit: Sinah Drenske. Ökologie und Umweltplanung. Technische Universität Berlin. Supervision: Kramer-Schadt S, Radchuk V, Kowarik I (TUB).
  • Wolfmanagement in Deutschland – Vergleich der Wolfmanagementpläne der Bundesländer. 26.09.2019. Bachelorarbeit: Patrick Enders. Landschaftsarchitektur und Landschaftsplanung. TU Berlin. Supervision: Heiland S (TUB), Kramer-Schadt S.
  • Inwiefern beeinflussen anthropogene Faktoren die Streifgebietsgrößen sowie täglichen Distanzen von Wildschweinen (Sus scrofa)? 08.08.2019. Bachelorarbeit: Elena Wernitz. Ökologie und Umweltplanung. TU B. Supervision: Stillfried M, Kramer-Schadt S.
  • Predicting community structure in a changing world – a new dynamic agent-based model to simulate multi-species home range behavior. 26.02.2019. Masterarbeit: Marie-Sophie Rohwäder. Ökologie, Evolution und Naturschutz. Universität Potsdam. Supervision: Kramer-Schadt S, Jeltsch F (UP).
  • Assessing patterns of livestock attacks caused by wolf (Canis lupus) using sightings and habitat predictions. 26.11.2019. Masterarbeit: Moritz Wenzler. Global Change Geography. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Kramer-Schadt S, Planillo A, Kümmerle T (HU).

2018

  • Life-history consequences of snare injuries in female spotted hyenas: A long term study in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. 02.05.2018. Diploma thesis. Sara Kaidatzi. Biologie. Freie Universität Berlin. Benhaiem S, East ML, Hofer H.
  • Usage of landscape metrics to predict spatial distribution of mammals in urban areas. 04.08.2018. BSc. Jessica Thimian. Biologie. Freie Universität Berlin. Supervision: Gras P, Kramer-Schadt S, Hofer H.
  • Monthly home ranges and habitat preferences of raccoons (Procyon lotor) in the Uckermark, Germany – a estimation method comparison. 2018. BSc. Pedro Mello Rose. Biologie. Freie Universität Berlin. Supervision: Scholz C, Hofer H.
  • An occupancy analysis of the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) and its potential preys in Eastern Panama. 09.10.2018. MSc. Angelica Maria Moreno Sosa. Universität Bremen. Supervision: Abrams J, Kramer-Schadt S, Marko Rohlfs (U Bremen).