Raluca Ioana Bancila | Postdoc

Co-supervised by Dr. Benedikt Schmidt (IEU Group Leader & Swiss Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Programme), funded by Swiss Scientific Exchange Programme

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.

ralucaMy 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

  • Buică G, Băncilă RI, Tudor M, Plăiaşu R, Cogălniceanu D (in press) The injuries on tortoise shells’ as a depository of past human impact. Italian Journal of Zoology
  • Manu M, Băncilă RI, Onete M (in press) Soil mite communities (Acari: Gamasina) from different ecosystem types from Romania. Belgian Journal of Zoology
  • Cogălniceanu D, Székely P, Székely D,  Roşioru D, Băncilă RI,  Miaud C (2013) When males are larger than females in ecthotherms: Reproductive investment in the Eastern Spadefoot Toad Pelobates syriacus, Copeia 4:699-706
  • Balázs V,  Kovács V, Băncilă RI, Hartel H, Anthony B (2013) A landscape-level study on the breeding site characteristics of ten amphibian species in Central Europe, Amphibia-Reptilia 34:63-73
  • Plăiaşu R, Vörös J, Băncilă RI (2012) Fluctuating asymmetry as a tool in identifying population stress in Hungarian populations of Bombina bombina, B. variegata and their hybrids. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 58:361-368
  • Cogălniceanu D, Băncilă RI, Plăiaşu R, Samoilă C, Hartel T (2012) Aquatic habitat use by amphibians with specific reference to Rana temporaria at high elevations (Retezat Mountains National Park, Romania). Annales de Limnologie – International Journal of Limnology 48:355-362
  • Băncilă RI, Cogălniceanu D, Plăiaşu R, Tudor M, Samoilă C (2012) Fluctuating asymmetry in Greek tortoise, Testudo graeca. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 11:234-239
  • Plăiaşu R, Băncilă RI, Samoilă C, Hartel T, Cogălniceanu D (2012). Waterbody availability and use by amphibian communities in a rural landscape. Herpetological Journal 22:13-21
  • Hartel T, Băncilă RI, Cogălniceanu D (2011) Spatiotemporal variability of aquatic habitat use by amphibians in a hydrologically modified landscape. Freshwater Biology 11:2288-2298, DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2011.02655.x.
  • Băncilă RI, Van Gelder I, Rotteveel E, Loman J, Arntzen JW (2010) Fluctuating asymmetry is a function of population isolation in island lizards. Journal of Zoology 282:266-275, DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2010.00736.x
  • Băncilă RI, Hartel T, Plăiaşu R, Smets J, Cogălniceanu D (2010) Comparing three body condition indices in amphibians: a case study of yellow-bellied toad Bombina variegata. Amphibia-Reptilia 31:558-562