We greatly enjoyed having Raluca as a member of our groups and wish her all the best for her future.
Our collaboration will continue!
RalucaSkip to content
Supervised by Benedikt Schmidt
Human activity is the cause of the ongoing biodiversity crisis. Our goal is to do research on the conservation biology of amphibians and reptiles because we would like to understand how conservation problems can be solved and thereby population declines halted or even reversed. In doing so, we would like to contribute to evidence-based conservation.
We study the dynamics and genetic structure of metapopulations that live in man-made landscapes. We would like to know how the metapopulations function and how they respond to changes in the landscape (e.g., is there an extinction debt?). We also study how conservation activity affects metapopulations. For example, we ask whether translocations are successful and whether we can increase dispersal rates in metapopulations. To address these questions, we must know how one can survey and monitor populations reliably. Therefore, we also study monitoring methods.
In addition, we study whether conservation action is successful. We select conservation actions and assess the success of these projects. We would like to know which conservation actions had the greatest positive effects on threatened species.
In collaboration with:
I continued as the leader of a research project funded by the Romanian Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation. In the meantime, I am continuing my education with workshops – a Bayesian IPM workshop in Logan, US – and research fellowships – in Naturalis, Leiden, NL.
My research interest integrates different methods in an effort to develop a set of effective and reliable tools for species conservation. My early work focused on applying, testing and validating four monitoring techniques: i) body condition indices as an indicator of population health status, ii) fluctuating asymmetry to monitor environmental and genetic stress, iii) habitat use and suitability models to monitor population trends and iv) microsatellites to monitor population genetic diversity.
I am currently focusing on models and modelling techniques to provide unbiased parameters for population dynamics and demography. I aim to develop and apply: i) mark-recapture models; ii) state space models and iii) species distribution models. A successful development and application of the present and new models and modelling techniques are key factors in working towards effective conservation strategies.
Apart from research I like to travel, to discover the culture, the history and the traditions of other countries by meeting and interacting with the people in their day to day life. Reading, climbing, cycling and caving are my favorite activities to charge my batteries for the many hours that I spend behind the computer.
2013-2014 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland
2009-present Junior researcher, Institute of Speleology “Emile Racovitza”, Biospeleology and Soil Biology Department, Bucharest, Romania
2007-2012 PhD in Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ovidius University, Romania
2005-2008 Research assistant, Institute of Speleology “Emile Racovitza”, Biospeleology and Soil Biology Department, Bucharest, Romania
2005-2007 MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity Conservation, Faculty of Biology, Bucharest University, Romania
2001-2005 BSc in Ecology and Environment Protection, Faculty of Biology, Bucharest University, Romania