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Practical application of rewilding

PhD defence, Thursday 22 August 2024, Marianne Damholdt Bergin

Marianne Damholdt Bergin
Konik horses grazing in dune habitat in Klitmøller, Denmark. Photo credit: Marianne Bergin

This PhD provides insight into challenges and strategies involved in rewilding, focusing particularly the how to prioritise where to rewild, gather evidence and optimize effect of semi-wild horses and cattle in ecological restoration.

Marianne introduce in this research a systematic planning framework to enable to prioritisation of rewilding initiatives at national scale, which was applied to support of the political process of designating the Danish Nature National Parks in 2022.

This research contributes to the understanding of the potential for ecosystem management using trophic rewilding principles, specifically the effect of year-round grazing facilitated by semi-feral horses and cattle.  Through GPS tracking the space use, habitat selection and movement patterns by semi-feral horses and cattle was explored to understand their potential impacts in ecological restoration sites across Denmark.

The company PhD degree was completed at Center for Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere (ECONOVO), Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Department of Biology, Aarhus University in corporation with the Danish Nature Agency. This company PhD was initiated by the Danish Nature Agency to assist the organisation to capacity build and gain knowledge to support evidence-based restoration methods during the planning and establishment of Nature National Parks in Denmark.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Thursday the 22nd of August 2024 at 13.00
Place: Auditorium F, Ny Munkegade, Aarhus University, 8000 Aarhus C.
Title of dissertation: Advancing Ecological Restoration: Insights into the Effects of Year-Round Grazing and Trophic Rewilding Principles on Ecosystem Management.

Contact information: Marianne Damholdt Bergin, email: mardb@nst.dk tel.: +45 22 26 68 35

Members of the assessment committee:
Associate Professor Jakob Heilman-Clausen, GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen

Professor James Bullock, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)

Associate Professor Alejandro Ordonez, Department of Biology, Aarhus University (chair)
Main supervisor:
Professor Jens-Christian Svenning, Center for Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere (ECONOVO), Department of Biology, Aarhus University.

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Le Roux, Center for Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere (ECONOVO), Department of Biology, Aarhus University.

Head of Environment Danish Nature Agency, Mads Jensen, Copenhagen

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS, Ny Munkegade 120, build. 1521, 8000 Aarhus C.


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