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Our lab member Elif will be in the United States to study with Paul Gugger in the University of Maryland for six months. She just got a Ph.D. level scholarship from TÜBİTAK, and she will study the genetic structure of oak (Quercus) species endemic to Turkey. This study will also be a part of her Ph.D. thesis.
Özlem Özüdoğru and Anıl Bahar, our lab members, successfully defended their M.Sc. theses.
Özlem’s thesis is about the effects of small-scale disturbance on a plant community in the central Anatolian steppe. She worked both in the field and lab, and her results are the first ones for biodiversity-rich Anatolian steppes. She is leaving our lab after completing her M.Sc. and will continue her professional life as a biology teacher.
Anıl worked on long-term Mediterranean vegetation dynamics using a modeling approach based on plant life-history traits and disturbance properties. In his thesis, he investigated the effects of fire frequency and initial vegetation coverage on these dynamics. Anıl is planning to stay in our lab to keep working on vegetation dynamics models.
Last month (April 2017), the well-known fire ecologist Juli G. Pausas visited Turkey as our lab’s guest for more than a week. Our lab members were delighted by his visit, all of us had many opportunities to discuss projects, papers, and possible new collaborations.
During his visit, Juli gave a seminar on the relationship between wildfire and biodiversity in the Department of Biology at Hacettepe University, which draws interest as more than 80 audiences participated, and as with almost one hour of question-answer session.
He also joined the fire ecology postgraduate course of the department and discussed his papers with students. Our lab members also participated the discussion. The papers were selected by students, so they had opportunities to ask questions the author of the papers they had studied.
One purpose of Juli’s visit was to discuss the methodology of our lab’s new project on fire-related traits of Turkish red pine (Pinus brutia). For this, we performed a field trip to Muğla Province in southwestern Turkey where many forests of this tree species are found. During this field trip, we had the opportunity to optimize the sampling design and the procedures of measuring fire-related traits such as serotiny, bark thickness, and self-pruning. You can also read his observations about the fire-related traits of P. brutia in his blog entry.
Gökhan Ergan, our lab member, successfully defended his M.Sc. thesis after his presentation to more than 80 people in Department of Biology at Hacettepe University on 1st March 2017. His thesis included four chapters on the relationship of Mediterranean plants with fire, including one field-based post-fire regeneration study, and three independent laboratory experiments on post-fire germination of Mediterranean plants.
From now on, he is leaving our lab as he founded an association to conduct ecological studies in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions of Turkey.
XIV MEDECOS Conference & XIII AEET Meeting were held in Sevilla, Spain between 31 January and 4 February 2017. The conference was a huge and successful one with about 600 participants and more than 250 oral presentations.
Our lab PI Çağatay Tavşanoğlu attended the conference with an oral presentation titled “Resprouting ability encapsulates the most functional variability in the Mediterranean Basin flora” (Ç. Tavşanoğlu & Juli G. Pausas). Our former lab member, İsmail Bekar, also attended and he presented his M.Sc. study that was conducted in our lab (İ. Bekar & Ç. Tavşanoğlu, “The role of anthropogenic and natural factors in shaping recent fire regimes in Mediterranean ecosystems“).
MEDECOS is the International Mediterranean Ecosystems Conference, and AEET is Spanish Terrestrial Ecology Association. The next MEDECOS will be in South Africa in 2020.
For more information and the abstract book of the conference: http://www.medecos-aeet-meeting2017.es/
İsmail Bekar, our lab member, successfully defended his MSc thesis after a pleasant presentation in Department of Biology at Hacettepe University on 24 June 2016. For his thesis, he studied on the relative role of anthropogenic and natural drivers in shaping recent fire regimes in Mediterranean ecosystems of Turkey using satellite fire data from NASA and a modeling approach.
From now on, he is leaving our lab as he has succeeded to get a scholarship from Swiss government to continue his studies on fire modeling at ETH Zurich. Congratulations!
Elif Deniz Ülker, our lab member, successfully defended her MSc thesis after an impressive presentation in Department of Biology at Hacettepe University on 10th June 2015. Her MSc study was about the effect of the Late Quaternary climate changes on the geographic distribution in Quercus robur (Pedunculate oak) and was supervised by Çağatay Tavşanoğlu and Utku Perktaş.