University of Edinburgh
I am a global change ecologist with interests in biodiversity change, agro-ecology and quantitative syntheses. I am passionate about quantitative skills and the development of statistics and programming knowledge among people from diverse backgrounds and career stages (check out our Coding Club).
I’m Gergana Daskalova and I’m a global change ecologist. I’m in the second year of my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. In my research, I study how global change influences ecological communities around the world – birds, mammals, plants and thousands of species more. The specific drivers I focus on include forest cover change and climate change, which are both altering the habitats and resources available for different species. I’m contributing to the collection of long-term data on vegetation change in the Arctic, which allows us to understand how plant communities are responding to temperature warming and predict how these ecosystems might change in the future. Regardless of whether I’m in the field or my desk in Edinburgh, the question that motivates me is how global change is influencing Earth’s biodiversity.
I am coordinating a peer-to-peer initiative called Coding Club which I started two years ago along with a team of undergraduates, postgraduates and staff members. We organise weekly in-person workshops at the University of Edinburgh that are open to everyone, regardless of their career stage or discipline. We also publish all the tutorials online on our website, so that our teaching materials can be accessible to people beyond Edinburgh. The goal of Coding Club is to reduce code fear and statistics anxiety and promote a positive and supportive environment for learning and professional development. Our website has 40 tutorials on topics such as data visualisation, working with big data, statistical modelling and reproducibility.
My plans for the fellowship are to build on the success of Coding Club to further promote quantitative skills and research reproducibility. First, I will extend and enhance our online content. Second, I will organise and lead workshops, some of which will be in collaboration with the Quantitative Ecology Group of the British Ecological Society. Finally, I will collaborate with GBIF, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, to promote the use of open data in teaching.
Follow me on Twitter @gndaskalova