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News & Events

Rubén de la Torre Cerro publishes his first lead author publication in Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

8 Mar 2021

It is titled “A review of the methods for studying biotic interactions in phenological analyses.”

The Department of Geography is pleased to congratulate Masters by Research student Rubén de la Torre Cerro for publishing his first lead author publication in Methods in Ecology and Evolution titled “A review of the methods for studying biotic interactions in phenological analyses”. The article published in February’s issue of the journal is an extensive integrative review of over 100 articles published recently that explore phenology and biotic interactions. In this work, Rubén and Dr Paul Holloway identify the four main methods with which biotic interactions have been incorporated in phenology research to-date and propose a new conceptual and methodological framework for the inclusion of such interactions within phenology research, which should guide future researchers and practitioners in the subject. You can find the paper published online here:  

There are also double congratulations in order, as Rubén was the recipient of the Best Water Related Presentation at Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) Environ 2020 conference. Rubén’s presentation was titled “Quantifying phenological mismatches: Climate change drivers and their impacts on biotic interactions through different trophic levels. The work presented here investigated the relevance of different meteorological drivers on phenological events of several plant and animal species at a national level. This research aims to identify phenological asynchronies across the trophic network (producers, consumers and secondary consumers), and to evaluate its impacts on trophic interactions across Ireland through co-existence records. In general, trends of an advanced phenology have been identified for many of the studied species. This trend is clearer for birds, whereas in the case of butterflies and moths their phenological events showed marked fluctuations in their timing within years. These results suggest different sensitivity within species and groups to changes in the meteorological drivers explored. We expect to use our results to create models able to identify areas across Ireland with higher risk to experience phenological shifts and therefore to determine climate change impact on biotic interactions. Please see here for more information on the conference and prize winners:

Rubén’s research is part of the larger PhenoClimate project (2018-CCRP-MS.54) which is funded under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Research Programme 2014-2020. The EPA Research programme is a Government of Ireland initiative funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action, and Environment. It is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency, which has the statutory function of co-ordinating and promoting environmental research.

Department of Geography


University College Cork, Cork