Madelaine Proulx

Université de Sherbrooke
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Dominique Gravel
Start: 2017-08-28
End: 2019-08-27

Project

Foodweb complexity on Galapagos Islands
The theory of island biogeography, initially elaborated by MacArthur and Wilson (1963), inspired many scientists on their research on population dynamics and insular community assembly. What began as a pretty simple theory putting in relation immigration, extinction and distance between the island and the mainland to explain species richness of an island rapidely got adapted by a few reserchers to try and obtain a macroevolution model on islands. However,whether it is by immigration, speciation or extinction, the variation of species composition always modifies, with more or less impact, community assembly and the species distribution on a given territory. Therefore, an important question to ask is how the already existing foodweb networks react to these new species arrivals or extinctions. How did these networks evolved to what we know today, and how will they react in the futur to the modifications caused by the global warming ? Given it's rich historical character for the study of evolution, the Galapagos Islands archipelago will be used as my experimental playground since there is an important documentation existing on the species occurences on each island. With these data, the network structure will be infered, and put in relation with the age of the island to try to determine the influence of the evolutinary period on the network complexity.