Jördis Franziska Terlau

Doctoral Researcher

Short Introduction


I am a young researcher with a keen interest in transdisciplinary research concepts, that are ranging from a philosophical background to the field of ecology in general, but with a distinct focus on understanding underlying mechanisms of ecosystem processes. I joined iDiv because I am looking for an interdisciplinary working environment with a great opportunity to develop my research career and to find my own niche in this wide field of research in biodiversity science.

Before I started my PhD project, I worked on predator-prey interactions in ladybeetles and aphids. Particularly, I performed microcosm experiments examining the avoidance behavior of the pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum) towards European native ladybeetle species and the invasive non-native lady beetle Harmonia axyridis. Proceeding on the assumption that there is a missing or inadequately developed anti-predator response of native prey against novel non-native predators, non-native species should have competitive advantages over native species, which can contribute to invasion success.

My current research foci are animal movement patterns, movement capacities, connectivity and use of habitat patches and finally species' interaction strength in a multitrophic community.

My Research Project


My current research project focuses on species local movement regarding environmental constraints and species interactions strength.

Movement in time and space is one of the most important ecological processes, as it provides the ability of survival for moving organisms. It allows interactions like the search for resources, feeding, mating, predator escape, and movement between habitat patches. Thus, movement plays a crucial role for spatial distribution and interactions on an individual as well as community level. Nonetheless, a mechanistic understanding of how spatial as well as environmental constraints affect animal movement is still in its infancy.

So far, we know that the required energy for active movement and therefore the energetic costs (metabolism) are affected by allometric and environmental traits such as body size or temperature. However, we still know little about how movement generally affects energetic benefits, which means energy gain or feeding in general. Thus, a mechanistic understanding of trait-based movement regarding local movement of terrestrial and walking animals is of key importance. For this, we use microcosm and mesocosm experiments including methods of RFID sensor tracking and automated imaged-based tracking as well as theoretical modeling approaches. Within this context, we will be able to better understand how the role of active movement links the organism to its survival capacities under climate change.

Short CV


Since February 2019
Doctoral researcher in the Theory in Biodiversity group at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany

April 2016  - March 2018
Master of Science in Biodiversity and Conservation – Philipps-University Marburg, Germany
Thesis: Avoidance behaviour of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum confronted with cues of the invasive lady beetle Harmonia axyridis and four native lady beetle species.

October 2012 – March 2016
Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology – University Koblenz-Landau, Landau, Germany

iDiv publications


Berti, E., Davoli, M., Buitenwerf, R., Dyer, A., Hansen, O. L. P., Hirt, M., Svenning, J.-C., Terlau, J. F., Brose, U. and Vollrath, F.

(2021): The r package enerscape: A general energy landscape framework for terrestrial movement ecology. Methods in Ecology and Evolution

Unlu, A. G., Terlau, J. F., Bucher, R.

(2020): Predation and avoidance behavior of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum confronted with native and invasive lady beetles in Europe. Biological Invasions
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Puschstrasse 4
04103 Leipzig

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+49 341 9733240
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Friedrich Schiller University Jena

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