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Monika Egerer

Lupe

"My research encompasses the fields of community ecology, agroecology, and geography. I use interdisciplinary studies to understand how ecological management at local to landscape scales can support biodiversity and ecosystem services such as pollination, pest control and climate regulation. My current research projects involve understanding the ecology of urban agricultural systems. Here, I ask what local, landscape, and climate factors influence biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning. Through my work, I aim to deepen ecological understanding, to provide management suggestions, and to promote sustainable agro-food systems."

 

 

Biographical sketch

I joined the Institute of Ecology, Ecosystem and Plant Sciences as an IPODI Fellow in 2019. Before coming to TU Berlin, I received my PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Originally from Southeast Michigan, USA I studied biology at Kalamazoo College, Michigan. There I developed a strong interest in ecology, conservation and the environment. For my bachelor thesis, I investigated the distribution, bird-mediated dispersal and human use of a wild chili pepper on the Mariana Islands. This sparked my interest in experimental research and socio-ecological systems. Before continuing my studies, I was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow in Germany from 2013 to 2014, where I taught English and Geography at a Gymnasium in Saxony. During this time I also assisted with research at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig in the Primatology Department. I returned to the US in 2014 to start my PhD studies.

 

Research interests

Ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem services, urban ecology, agroecology and sustainable food systems

 

Contact

Email: monika.egerer@tu-berlin.de

 

 

IPODI Research Project

The effect of landscape and urban garden characteristics on pollination services in Berlin, Germany

Duration: August 2019 - August 2021

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Ingo Kowarik, Faculty VI, Ecosystem Science / Plant Ecology

Abstract: Diversified urban agroecosystems designed for food production are important habitats in cities for supporting biodiversity and ecosystem functions that provide ecosystem services. Pollination is an important service provided by urban bee populations that drives optimal food production in agroecosystems. Yet the effects of landscape and local habitat characteristics on bee diversity and pollination are less understood in urban versus rural contexts. Further, we have no comparisons of pollination services among urban agroecosystem types, including home and allotment gardens. To test the effects of changes in land use surrounding gardens and habitat management on bees and pollination, I propose an observational study and an experiment using urban gardens distributed across Berlin, Germany. Urban gardens in Berlin provide a model system because vegetable gardening is popular the city was recently claimed a pollinator friendly city. For this project, I will determine (1) how landscape and local habitat factors affect bee diversity and pollination services and their relationships, and (2) how the effect of local and landscape factors may differ based on garden type. In 20 gardens of four types, I will use field observations of bee diversity and habitat management, and an experiment to measure pollination. I will use a citizen science platform to further characterize bee diversity in gardens, and to broaden participation of Berlin residents in ecology research. The outcomes of the research will include a scientific manuscript, pollinator management guidelines for gardeners, and a report for policy makers.

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