Metacommunity Ecology Lab of Zsófia Horváth
I am a community ecologist with a major interest in spatial ecology. I am the most excited about how invisible connectivity via dispersal between island-like habitats shapes biodiversity and community patterns.
Standing waters have always been central study objects of metacommunity ecology, especially ponds and pools that can be numerous in a landscape. Most of my work comes from these small ecosystems, focusing on local (trophic relationships, environmental stressors) and regional processes (dispersal) affecting biodiversity.
But the smaller, the more vulnerable: ponds and pools, particularly if they are temporary, are highly sensitive to climate change and human impact (especially habitat loss). By seeking a better understanding of these habitats and their networks in the landscape, not only can we better conserve them together their wonderful biodiversity, but we can learn a whole great deal about the general functioning of metacommunities.
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We have excellent facilities to host students and visitors: if you are interested in joining the research group, contact me here to discuss project ideas and funding opportunities (either for a shorter or a longer stay).
I did my PhD in Hungary (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest), and spent most of my postdoc years in the lab of Robert Ptacnik at the WasserCluster Lunz in Austria (between 2012 and 2019), with shorter but nevertheless fun detours to other labs, working with Luc De Meester at KU Leuven (Belgium) and Jon Chase at iDiv (Germany)
Since 2019, I am the leader of the newly established Metacommunity Ecology Lab at the Balaton Limnological Institute of the Centre for Ecological Research (Tihany, Hungary).