Luka Negoita

Luka Negoita
Charles Darwin Foundation · Galapagos Verde 2050

PhD, Biology

About

10
Publications
16,785
Reads
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639
Citations
Introduction
I am fascinated by plant communities on islands. What are the effects of 'islandness' on plant community ecology? For example, what is the role of spatial isolation in shaping how communities develop and how they subsequently influence ecosystem-level processes? I think functional traits offer a useful method for approaching some of these questions. I also eat and breath data on a daily basis with a strong interest in data analysis, data visualization, and graphic design. I currently work as an ecologist and data analyst on the Galapagos Verde 2050 project at the Charles Darwin Research Station in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. I apply my interests by studying the adaptive management of threatened and endangered native and endemic plants of the Galapagos.
Additional affiliations
August 2012 - May 2018
Syracuse University
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (10)
Article
Tropical dry forests are among the most threatened of ecosystems globally, especially on islands, where two key challenges face efforts to restore them: 1) dealing with water scarcity, and 2) reliably predicting costs and benefits of alternative approaches given limited resources available for restoration. In this study we evaluated the cost-effect...
Book
Full-text available
Galapagos Verde 2050 (GV2050) is a multi-institutional and interdisciplinary project of the CDF which actively contributes to the conservation of the natural capital of the Galapagos archipelago and the well-being of its human population. GV2050 works to restore ecosystems and promote sustainable agricultural practices that allow the community to l...
Book
Full-text available
Galápagos Verde 2050 (GV2050) es un proyecto multinstitucional e interdisciplinario de la FCD que contribuye activamente a la conservación del capital natural del archipiélago Galápagos y al buen vivir de la población humana local. GV2050 trabaja para recuperar la capacidad de los ecosistemas de generar servicios y promueve prácticas agrícolas sost...
Article
The study of insular systems has a long history in ecology and biogeography. Island plants often differ remarkably from their noninsular counterparts, constituting excellent models for exploring eco-evolutionary processes. Trait-based approaches can help to answer important questions in island biogeography, yet plant trait patterns on islands remai...
Article
Full-text available
Plant traits—the morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants—determine how plants respond to environmental factors, affect other trophic levels, and influence ecosystem properties and their benefits and detriments to people. Plant trait data thus represent the basis for a vast area of research sp...
Article
Full-text available
Restoration of keystone species is a primary strategy used to combat biodiversity loss and recover ecological services. This is particularly true for oceanic islands, which despite their small land mass, host a large fraction of the planet’s imperiled species. The endemic Opuntia spp. cacti are one example and a major focus for restoration in the G...
Article
Full-text available
Limestone is a distinctive substrate that has significant effects on soils and plants. The present study characterizes the diversity of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens at the Simonton Corner Quarry Preserve, an abandoned limestone quarry in Rockport, Maine, USA, which was in operation in the late 1800s. We document vascular plant diversity...
Article
Full-text available
The physical and biotic environment is often considered the primary driver of functional variation in plant communities. Here, we examine the hypothesis that spatial isolation may also be an important driver of functional variation in plant communities where disturbance and dispersal limitation may prevent species from occupying all suitable habita...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Plant functional traits are an important driver of ecosystem processes and are increasingly used to quantify variation in community functioning. Although many studies have examined how plant functional traits vary across environmental gradients, few have tested how community functioning changes with spatial isolation....

Questions

Question (1)
Question
Does anyone recommend a good book on data analysis (with R) in the field of "applied" ecology? I am proficient with R and ecological data analysis overall, but I need some references for helping me transition from solely academic/theoretical ecology to conservation and management. Basically, I need to go from theoretical statistical significance to biologically meaningful decision making, predictions, and forecasting. For example, I recently read about loss functions and how they are used to go from statistical inference to decision making. Other examples include (but not limited to): forecasting population sizes as a function of different management scenarios; prioritizing conservation or management importance of different sites; or just going from model coefficients to easy-to-understand values that management organizations can use to make actual decisions.
To be clear, I can figure out most of these things myself based on my current background (and it's fun to!), but: 1) it is a lot of extra time, 2) I don't want to reinvent the wheel, 3) there are probably standardized protocols that are generally "accepted" by applied ecologists, and somewhat conforming to those standards will help with publications.
Note: I've found several books that each focus on particular topics (e.g., fisheries modeling, spatial analysis, survival analysis, forecasting, etc.) but I am looking for something with perhaps less depth and more breadth on applied ecology techniques in general.
EDIT: My interest in this is mostly around plant ecology and conservation, but a resource that includes topics on wildlife management analysis would be helpful too.
Thank you in advance!

Projects

Project (1)
Project
Restoring the native and endemic plants and ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, as well as helping the island community develop methods for increasing local agricultural productivity and sustainability.