New face: Stefaniya Kamenova
I am a molecular ecologist developing various methods (mostly DNA metabarcoding) for studying trophic interactions. I completed my PhD at the Centre d’Études Biologiques de Chizé in France, where under the supervision of Vincent Bretagnolle and Manuel Plantegenest I developed molecular and stable isotope methods for characterizing the diet of predatory insects. After a brief postdoc at the University of Guelph (Canada) focusing on host-parasitoid food webs in boreal forests, I am joining the CEES as a postodoctoral fellow for the next three years. As a part of the REININ project (Reindeer interactions from plants and birds to humans: balancing the odds of climate change) led by Galina Gusarova, my role will be to study diet and trophic interactions of Arctic herbivore communities with special emphasis on reindeer. More precisely, my objective is to investigate how environmental and socio-economic contexts impact reindeer trophic ecology across its circumpolar distributional range. For this, and with a close collaboration with field ecologists and social scientists, we are building an ambitious multi-site, multi-seasonal sampling plan across four arctic regions in Europe, Russia and Canada. Ultimately, the combination of ecosystem-based information with socio-economic data and local knowledge of reindeer herders will allow the tailoring of management practices for efficient reindeer husbandry that meet the constraints of ongoing climate and land use changes in the high Arctic.