Dr Elizabeth Boakes
My current research focuses on the spatial patterns by which species’ geographic ranges change over time. For example, do they contract towards the range centre, contract from one range margin only, fragment, shift latitudinally etc.
We know that threatened species tend to have declining geographic ranges. But the ways in which ranges contract are little-studied.
Using the avian order Galliformes (game birds) as a case-study, I have compiled a database of ~200,000 historical sightings dating from around 1800 to the present day. I am now using these point localities to build a time-series of range maps for the Galliformes of Europe and Asia in order to understand how their ranges have changed over the last 200 years.
I am interested to see whether specific spatial patterns of geographic range change correlate with species’ life history traits, ecological traits or threat mechanisms. This may allow us to predict which species could be at risk in the future.