I am a PhD student currently researching the effects of habitat restoration on plant-animal mutualistic and antagonistic interaction networks in Seychelles inselberg plant communities.
Before coming to the University of Exeter, I worked as a field assistant in several projects focused on biodiversity conservation in Spain and South America and as a researcher at the University of Salamanca investigating the effects of a native shrub on the survival and early establishment of two oak species.
Project Title: Spatio-temporal responses of ecosystem functions to ecological restoration
Dr Ruben Heleno (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
Funding Body: DFG (German Research Foundation)
This project will be conducted in Seychelles with the collaboration of the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA). The research will consist on the study of the effects of habitat restoration (i.e. exotic plants removal) on plant-animal mutualistic (seed dispersal, pollination) and antagonistic (seed predation, floral thieves) interactions by using a restoration community experiment established in 2011/2012 and a network approach. The data collected will be analyzed in order to assess the net gains and losses to native plant reproduction of both interaction types and their direct and indirect effects on community dynamics.
For more information about my research visit my Researchgate profile and/or follow me on twitter @alba_costa_
Costa, A., Villa, S., Alonso, P., García-Rodríguez, A. J., Martín, F. J., Martínez-Ruiz, C. and Fernández- Santos, B. 2017. Can native shrubs facilitate the early establishment of contrasted co-occurring oaks in Mediterranean grazed areas? Journal of Vegetation Science 28: 1047–1056.