I am interested in the processes that maintain biodiversity at multiple spatial scales. I study the consequences of land use and climate change on populations and communities, and strategies to preserve and restore biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. My research spans from basic to applied aspects of ecology.
In much of my research I use insects, particularly butterflies and pollinating insects, as study organisms. I also do research on plant communities and plant-pollinator interactions, and conduct research syntheses including a wide range of organisms.
In addition to my research, I am Director of PhD studies at the Department of Ecology, and teach mainly in different Conservation biology courses.
Dr. Jonas Josefsson - postdoc
Dr. Malin Tälle - postdoc
Juliana Dániel Ferreira - PhD student
Dr. Norbertas Noreika - postdoc 2018-2018, now at Estonian University of Life Sciences.
Dr. Giovanni Tamburini - postdoc 2017-2019, now researcher at University of Bari, Italy.
Dr. Yoan Fourcade - postdoc 2015-2019, now assistant professor at Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne University, France.
Dr. Roser Rotchés‐Ribalta - visiting postdoc 2017.
Dr. Marie Winsa - PhD student 2010-2016.
Opportunities for students and researchers
BSc and MSc students: I am happy to supervise BSc and MSc thesis projects related to my research interests. Please contact me to discuss potential topics.
PhD candidates: These positions are typically fully funded from the university, and are posted at the SLU website
Postdocs: I am open to host new postdoctoral researchers who share my research interests and wish to apply for their own funding. Please contact me if you are interested in working on an application together.
I am leading the course Tillämpad Naturvårdsbiologi (Applied Conservation biology), which is part of the BSc programme in Biology and Environmental Sciences.
I also teach on other courses in ecology and conservation biology at BSc and MSc levels.
My current research interests include:
Conservation and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes
I study how local management, landscape composition as well as landscape history influence biodiversity and related ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes, and in particular in species-rich semi-natural grasslands.
How novel habitats contribute to landscape-scale biodiversity
Land claimed for infrastructure, such as road verges and power line corridors constitute novel habitats that cover vast areas. Since these habitats often resemble species-rich habitats such as semi-natural grasslands, they might provide great opportunities for biodiversity conservation. I study how such habitats contribute to the biodiversity at the landscape scale and how they affect populations of pollinating insects.
Interactive effects of climate and land use change on biodiversity
Climate change is already changing biodiversity and species distributions directly. But there are also indirect effects through altered agricultural and forest land use in response to climate change. Landscape composition and land use might influence the ability of species and communities to adapt to climate change. I use field experiments, repeated historical surveys and data from systematic biodiversity monitoring programmes to study how land use and climate change impact populations, communities and species distributions.
Much of my research is directly relevant for authorities responsible for biodiversity conservation and for land owners and land managers.
I also conduct research in direct collaboration with stakeholders. For example, I do field experiments on biodiversity-friendly habitat management in collaboration with Svenska Kraftnät (responsible for the Swedish electricity grid) and Swedish Transport Administration.
For a complete list of publications, see my Google Scholar profile
Some representative publications:
Fourcade, Y., Åström, S., Öckinger E. 2019. Climate and land-cover change alter bumblebee species richness and community composition in subalpine areas. Biodiversity and Conservation, 28: 639–653.
Gardiner, M.G., Riley, C.B., Bommarco, R., Öckinger E. 2018. Rights-of-way – a poorly exploited conservation resource with potential. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16: 149-158.
Öckinger, E., Winsa, M., Roberts, S.P.M., Bommarco, R. 2018. Mobility and resource use influence the occurrence of pollinating insects in restored semi-natural grassland fragments. Restoration Ecology 26: 873-881.
Fourcade, Y., Ranius, T., Öckinger, E. 2017. Temperature drives abundance fluctuations, but spatial dynamics is constrained by landscape configuration: implications for climate-driven range shift in a butterfly. Journal of Animal Ecology 86: 1339–1351.
Bommarco, R., Lindborg, R., Marini, L & Öckinger, E. 2014. Extinction debt for plants and flower-visiting insects in landscapes with contrasting land use history. Diversity and Distributions, 20: 591-599.
Öckinger, E., Schweiger, O., Crist, T.O. Debinski, D.M., Krauss, J., Kuussaari, M., Petersen, J.D., Pöyry, J., Settele, J., Summerville, K.S. & Bommarco, R. 2010. Life-history traits predict species responses to habitat area and isolation – A cross-continental synthesis. Ecology Letters 13: 969-979.