Vincent Maicher is an insect ecologist, working in various Afrotropical countries during the past 6 years. He has focused his early academic career in studying biodiversity changes along various ecological gradients, using butterflies and moths as biological models.
During his Ph.D., he undertook extensive sampling of adult Lepidoptera along an elevation gradient on Mount Cameroon, the only continuous elevational gradient of near-pristine forests in the Afrotropics. As part of an international team of both ornithologists and botanists, he tackled different research questions focusing on quantifying Lepidopteran biodiversity changes with both elevation and seasons, evaluating forest habitats requirements of Lepidopteran communities, reporting taxonomic and faunistic novelties, and highlighting important conservation issues in the region.
Recently, he received his own founding to investigate the cascade impacts of natural disturbances made by forest elephants on tree and insect communities in upland and montane rainforests in Cameroon. He will now pursue his research in the Poulsen lab by setting up large-scale natural experiments in the Ivindo National Park, to better understand how megafauna depletion modifies rainforest ecosystems, especially plant-animal interactions and forest structure, composition, and diversity in Gabonese rainforests.
The Poulsen Lab at Duke University is seeking an outstanding postdoc to contribute to a NSF-funded project. The goal of the project is to test the hypothesis that depletion of megafauna, specifically African forest elephants, in tropical forests has cascading effects on remaining fauna and flora, destabilizing forest dynamics.
Interested in applying? Visit our "Working With Us" page or click the link below to learn more about the position.
John Poulsen, assistant professor of tropical ecology at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has received an $848,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the effects of declining elephant populations on Africa’s forests.
Poulsen’s new five-year NSF CAREER grant will enable him and his students to investigate if the loss of these ecological engineers will change the forests and alter the vital ecosystem services such as timber, medicine and food that they provide.
Poulsen’s grant #1845649) was awarded through NSF’s Division of Environmental Biology.
To read more, visit the original article at: https://nicholas.duke.edu/news/new-848k-nsf-grant-will-fund-study-how-elephant-declines-are-affecting-african-forests
For Duke undergrads and MEM students - if you are interested in ecology and conservation, check out this opportunity to conduct research on seed dispersal by elephants: https://bassconnections.duke.edu/project-teams/mega-gardeners-tropical-forests-modeling-seed-dispersal-forest-elephants-2018-2019.
See an interesting article on elephants and bees in the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/26/science/bees-elephants-.html
Lab alumnus, Dr. Cooper Rosin, has been offered (and accepted) a postdoctoral position at UW-Madison working with Dr. Paul Zedler in the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies. Congratulations, Cooper!
Now this is an elephant you can poach: Megan brought elephant cookies for lab meeting! The only downside is that they weren't life size! They were as delicious as they were cute.
Sally Koerner, a past postdoctoral researcher in the Poulsen lab, has been hired as an Assistant Professor at UNC-Greensboro. Congratulations, Sally!
Cooper and Rachel hosted an end-of-year get-together in their Hillsborough cabin. Lots to celebrate - 4 graduations, a successful prelim defense, and 2 new jobs.
DURHAM, N.C. – Cooper Rosin, a 2017 doctoral graduate of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been named winner of this year’s Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Manuscript.
Rosin was honored for his paper, “Hunting-induced Defaunation Drives Increased Seed Predation and Decreased Seedling Establishment of Commercially Important Tree Species in an Afrotropical Forest,” which was published October 7, 2016, in the peer-reviewed journal Forest Ecology and Management.
Stanback Dean Jeffrey R. Vincent announced the award to the Nicholas School community today (May 10).
Rosin will be acknowledged at the school’s Recognition Ceremony for graduates and their families on Saturday, May 13. He will receive a $3,000 award and a framed certificate as this year’s winner.
Rosin’s research sheds new light on how defaunation caused by widespread hunting in tropical forests alters the plant-animal interactions that drive seed dispersal and tree recruitment there.
He conducted the study with his advisor, John Poulsen, assistant professor of tropical ecology, who co-authored Rosin’s paper.
Funding for their research came from the Duke University Graduate School and the Garden Club of America.
The Nicholas School has presented the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Manuscript annually since 2008 to recognize excellence in graduate student research.
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Nicholas School of the Environment
I am an Assistant Professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. My research focuses on tropical forest plants and animals and their conservation and management.