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Alva Curtsdotter


Alva Curtsdotter, PhD
Linköping University                         
IFM, Theory and Modelling                
Division of Theoretical Biology
SE-581 83 Linköping

E-mail: alva.curtsdotter@liu.se
Phone: +46 13 28 13 31

Click here if you want to look at my CALENDAR.

You can also check out my Google Scholar Profile.

Research interests

Having had a keen interest in the natural world from childhood and the climate change catching my attention as a young girl, I am fortunate to have got a PhD position with the scientific aim to explore the possible effects of climate change on the structure and function of ecological communities.

The global change has many different aspects and can therefor affect species by different mechanisms. There are changes on different scales, from the microhabitat to the regional scale; there are changes in several different climate parameters, not only in temperature but also in precipitation, wind strength etc; there are changes not only in mean values but also in the variation, frequencies and timing of weather events. To capture the ecological effects of something as complex as climate change is a huge challenge, but I am happy to take on a small part of it. 

My main focus is how some of these aspects of climate change affects species extinction risks, community robustness and population and commmunity stability in terms of abundance or biomass. I use model foodwebs as surrogate for real communites and mathematical formulations like the Lotka-Volterra equation to model their dynamics in computer simulations.

My research approach naturally avokes the interest in how to model ecological communities approriately. Some of my aims on this front are to move away from static webs to ones where the structure is flexible due to optimally foraging consumer, to introduce other interactions than trophic interactions, e.g mutualism, and to model the effect of climate parameters on ecological parameters in a mechanistic rather than phenomenological way while still modelling general theoretical webs rather than specific empirical ones.

Scientific projects

  • Ecological consequences of increased variation in the strength of species interactions

  • The impact of adaptive versus non-adaptive consumers on food web stability and function
  • Food web robustness to secondary extinctions - sequential deletions in a dynamical setting


Curriculum Vitae (.pdf)

Poster presented at INTECOL's 10th Congress of Ecology in Brisbane, Australia, 2009 (.pdf)


If you are a student at Linköping University you'll meet me on the following courses:

  • BBL110: Biology for Foundation Year (Biologi A för tekniskt/naturvetenskapligt basår)
  • NBIB25: Introduction to Scientific Methods, Analysis and Statistics (Introduktion till vetenskaplig metod, analys och statistik)
  • NBIB27: Ecology (Ekologi, grundkursen)

Responsible for this page: Alva Curtsdotter

Last updated: 03/11/15