Dr. Joanne Bennett

Post-Doktorandin (z.Zt. abwesend)



My goal is to improve our understanding of the general processes driving ecological systems and how human activities affect these processes.


Current research: sDiv project sWEEP”: Unifying marine and terrestrial biodiversity at the interplay of macroecology, macrophysiology and macroevolution

By collating a large dataset on the geographic distributions, associated physiological and phylogenetic relatedness of both terrestrial and marine taxa we aim to explore how species distributions respond to macroevolutionary and macrophysiological determinants using climatic niche conservatism as a unifying theoretical framework. Between the 21st and 24th of October 2014 we are holding the sWEEP workshop to bring together an international network of leading researchers. This project is coordinated by Assistant Professor Miguel Ángel Olalla-Tárraga (Rey Juan Carlos University) and Dr. Ignacio Morales-Castilla (McGill University). 


Past project: Changes in forest-bird assemblage structure in response to multiple pressures: climate and vegetation change.

Investigating how the avifauna in a much-modified forest ecosystem responded to an extended period of severe drought. The drought which was consistent with climate-change models for the region was linked to a marked change in vegetation condition which was amplified in highly fragmented forest remnants. The change in the vegetation was a reduction in resources, both food and nesting sites for many birds and there was a concurrent decline in the avifauna. One species an avian interference competitor with a preference for small habitat patches increased in abundance and range. This highly aggressive native species (where present) disproportionately excluded small-bodied birds from habitat patches which added to avian declines. Supervisors Prof. Ralph Mac Nally and Dr Rohan Clarke.

Curriculum vitae


Scientific positions

  • (2014 – present) Postdoc, Synthesis Center for Biodiversity Sciences (sDiv), Leipzig, Germany
  • (2013 – 14) Junior Honorary Research Fellow - Monash University, Australia
  • (2010 – 2014) Teaching associate, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  • (2009 – 2010) Natural Resource Officer - Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland Government, Australia
  • (2007 – 2008) Research Assistant - CSIRO, Sustainable Ecosystems Australia

Academic degrees

  • 2014 – PhD in Ecology - Monash University Australia
  • 2008 – BSc (Honours) (1st class) - James Cook University, Queensland, Australia

Previous Publications


Bennett, J.M., Nimmo D.G., Clarke, R.H., Thomson, J.R., Mac Nally, R. & Bennett, A.F. (2014) Species resistance v resilience: The prospects of avifauna to increasingly turbulent climate futures? Diversity and Distributions. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12230

Bennett, J.M., Clarke, R.H., Thomson, J.R. & Mac Nally, R. (2014) Fragmentation, vegetation change and irruptive competitors affect recruitment of woodland birds. Ecography. DOI: 10.1111/ecog.00936

Bennett, J.M., Clarke, R.H., Thomson, J.R. & Mac Nally, R. (2014) Variation in abundances of nectarivorous birds: Is flowering the only determinant? Journal of Animal Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12245

Bennett, J.M., Cunningham, S.C., Connelly, C.A., Clarke, R.H., Thomson, J.R. & Mac Nally, R. (2013) The interaction between a drying climate and land use affects forest structure and above-ground carbon storage. Global Ecology and Biogeography (22) 1238–1247.

Bennett, J.M., Kutt, A.S., Johnson, C.N. & Robson, S. (2009) Ants as indicators for vertebrate fauna at a local scale: an assessment of cross-taxa surrogacy in a disturbed matrix. Biodiversity and Conservation. (18), 3407-3419



Bennett, J. M., Calosi, P., Clusella-Trullas, S., Martínez, B., Sunday, J., Algar, A. C., Araújo, M. B., Hawkins, B. A., Keith, S., Kühn, I., et al.

GlobTherm, a global database on thermal tolerances for aquatic and terrestrial organisms Scientific Data 5(180022),

Bennett, J. M., Thompson, A., Goia, I., Feldmann, R., Ştefan, V., Bogdan, A., Rakosy, D., Beloiu, M., Biro, I.-B., Bluemel, S., Filip, M., Madaj, A.-M., Martin, A., Passonneau, S., Kalisch, D. P., Scherer, G., Knight, T. M.

A review of European studies on pollination networks and pollen limitation, and a case study designed to fill in a gap AoB PLANTS (in press),

Keil, P., MacDonald, A. A. M., Ramirez, K. S., Bennett, J. M., García-Peña, G. E., Yguel, B., Bourgeois, B., Meyer, C.

Macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns emerge in the universe of GNU/Linux operating systems Ecography 41(11), 1788-1800

Knight, T. M., Ashman, T.-L., Bennett, J. M., Burns, J. H., Passonneau, S., Steets, J. A.

Reflections on, and visions for, the changing field of pollination ecology Ecology Letters 21(8), 1282-95

Yen, J. D. L., Thomson, J. R., Keith, J. M., Paganin, D. M., Fleishman, E., Bennett, A. F., Nimmo, D. G., Bennett, J. M., Dobkin, D. S., Nally, R. M.

Linking species richness and size diversity in birds and fishes Ecography (in press),

Yen, J. D. L., Thomson, J. R., Keith, J. M., Paganin, D. M., Fleishman, E., Dobkin, D. S., Bennett, J. M., Mac Nally, R.

Balancing generality and specificity in ecological gradient analysis with species abundance distributions and individual size distributions Global Ecology and Biogeography 26(3), 318-32

Bennett, J., Clarke, R., Horrocks, G. B., Thomson, J., Mac Nally, R.

Climate drying amplifies the effects of land-use change and interspecific interactions on birds Landscape Ecology 30(10), 2031-43
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Deutscher Platz 5e
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733155
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Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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