yDiv doctoral researcher wins best presentation award in South Africa
Award winner Irene Bender with her supervisor Dr. Matthias Schleuning and colleague Marcia Munoz-Neyra from BiK-F in Frankfurt/M. (r. to l.)
yDiv doctoral researcher Irene Bender attended the 6th International Symposium – Workshop on Frugivores & Seed Dispersal (FSD) 2015, which was held 21-26 June in Drakensberg, South Africa. A total of 122 people representing 28 different nationalities and almost every continent participated in this highly international event.
Irene won the price of best student oral presentation with her talk “Feeding originality and flexibility of birds in plant-frugivore interaction networks” that was based on the findings of her first scientific paper. In her presentation, Irene found that frugivorous bird species that forage in a more original area of the fleshy-fruited plant trait space tend to be most flexible in switching to alternative fruit resources. This strong link between originality and flexibility might act as a buffer to networks under future scenarios, since the original species will be more flexible to change to different fruit resources. This finding challenges the notion that specialized species have a low capacity to respond to changes in functional community composition.
“I really enjoyed this stimulating conference, where I got the chance to meet many interesting people and discuss several new collaboration opportunities”, says Irene. yDiv congratulates Irene for a great accomplishment!