Portrait of Izabela Menezes-Barata

Izabela Menezes-Barata

PhD student
Conservation Biology

About

PhD project: Monitoring the effects of climate change on a montane amphibian population

The genus Crossodactylodes comprises four endemic species of frogs living in bromeliads that are endemic to highland areas of the Atlantic Rain Forest, in southeastern Brazil. A new species (Crossodactylodes itambe) has been recently described and occurs in an area smaller than 1 km2 and above 1800 m. It is found at low temperatures and apparently confined to a single species of bromeliad, and is probably endemic to the Espinhaço Range. Highland habitats are fragile ecosystems affected by global warming and amphibian declines have been correlated with climatic events, changing breeding patterns and increasing fungal diseases. For Crossodactylodes species climate change and bromeliad-collecting are probably a threat. 

Izabela’s research aims to develop and implement a long-term monitoring protocol to evaluate the effects of climate change on known populations of Crossodactylodes itambe and address conservation priorities focusing on montane species and highland ecosystems within the Espinhaço Range. Occupancy modelling will be used to monitor changes in populations at different altitudes over the years using climatic and habitat variables as covariates. This research will also provide information about suitable habitats for species occurrence by using distribution models to indicate possible areas of occurrence for new populations.

Izabela Menezes-Barata is a member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology

Supervisor(s)

Professor Richard Griffiths
Professor Martin Ridout

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