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Nurbahar Usta | Ph.D. student

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My research topic wanders around the forest dynamics and vegetation structure of a both biodiversity hotspot & mythologically famous mountain of Turkey, Mt. Ida (Kazdağları) with questions specific to Trojan fir (Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani). I try to understand the reasons for its severely fragmented habitat & whether it is possible to connect fragments with forest corridors (Funded by The Rufford Foundation). Its tangled taxonomic position, seed strategy, facilitation/competition/replacement networks with other species such as Anatolian black pine (Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana), the effect of climate change on its distribution, and its glacial refugia are a few of the questions which form the structural background of my studies. Since Trojan fir (also known as Kazdağı fir) is subjected to forest management, management plans and forestry practices are also important tools for me to understand the forest dynamics in Mt. Ida. All of the above, requires many programming and statistics attempts in R and usage of GIS applications, hence I continuously try to acquire better understanding in both. Besides my PhD, I dare to ask questions which fall into the topics of environmental sociology, ecocriticism and conservation management.

Under the welcoming roof of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Society in Turkey, I am a part of a team who organizes R Programming workshops for the graduate students in related areas. As a conservation scientist to be, I try to be an active member in the network of conservation NGOs in Turkey. Also, a fan of book clubs & house plants.

Her full CV.




2019 – … Hacettepe University, Biology (PhD.)

2016 – 2019 Middle East Technical University, Biological Sciences (MSc) – Thesis

2010 – 2016 Yıldız Technical University, Bioengineering (BSc)


2019 – 2020 Capacity Building to Connect Severely Fragmented Populations of Kazdagi Fir


2019 – …  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Society, Board Member

2018 – 2019 Nature for Youth and City with Nature Conservation Centre

2018 – 2019 Youth-led Advocacy for Wildlife Conservation with Doğa Derneği (DD)


Verdú, M., Garrido, J. L., Alcántara, J. M., Montesinos‐Navarro, A., Aguilar, S., Aizen, M. A., … & Zamora, R. (2022). RecruitNet: A global database of plant recruitment networks. Ecology.

Translation Editor in: Hadley, W. & Grolemund, G. (2021) – Veri Bilimleri için R (R for Data Science) –

Acar, P., & Usta Baykal, N. (2020). Climate Change Effects on the dsitribution of Turkish Salix species. Bahçe, 49(1), 159-165.

Usta Baykal, N. (2019). Determining potential niche competition regions between Kazdagi fir (Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani) & Anatolian black pine (Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana) and conservation priority areas under climate change by using maxent algorithm (Master’s thesis, Middle East Technical University).

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