Birds, community ecology, tropical rainforests, landscape ecology, conservation
My current research is designed to assess the causes and consequences of species responses to deforestation and fragmentation. To understand the causes of species responses, I am determining the mechanisms that underlie community changes in fragmented landscapes and why deforestation drives some species to extinction yet positively affects others. Then, to identify the consequences of species responses to deforestation, I am assessing how community compositional changes in fragmented landscapes affect functional diversity, and which species are more important for maintaining ecosystem functions. Finally, I aim to determine the minimum area requirements necessary to sustain a viable and functional ecosystem. To analyse these questions, I am using methods from a diverse range of biological disciplines including phylogenetics, population biology, community ecology and landscape ecology. To reach this goal, I am analysing an existing dataset containing information on more than 10,000 individuals of bird and small mammal species captured in 65 forest patches of the imperilled Atlantic Forest of Brazil.
This work is being funded through a Marie Curie Fellowship.
Students that are interested in doing an MSc project on on bird community ecology and landscape ecology using the pre-existing dataset from the Atlantic Forest or collecting their own data- please contact me at c.banks[at]imperial.ac.uk
2011 - : Undergraduate course, Mathematics. Open University, UK
2005 - 2009: PhD, Ecology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. Thesis title: “Preserving the understory bird community in fragmented landscapes of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil”.
2002 – 2004: MSc, Ecology. National Institute for Amazon Research, INPA, Brazil. Dissertation title: “The heterogeneity of treefall gaps affecting bird community composition at Reserva Ducke, Manaus, Brazil”.
1998-2001: BSc, Biology. Federal University of São Carlos, UFSCar, Brazil.
Publications in peer-reviewed journals:
Banks-Leite, C., , R.M., Pimentel R.G. & Metzger J.P. In press. Decisions on Temporal Sampling Protocol Influence the Detection of Ecological Patterns. Biotropica. (Online Early).
Banks-Leite, C., Ewers, R.M., Kapos V., Martensen A.C. & Metzger J. P. 2011. Comparing species and measures of landscape structure as indicators of conservation importance. Journal of Applied Ecology 48: 706-714.
Banks-Leite, C. Ewers, R. M. & Metzger, J.P. 2010. Edge effects as the principal cause of area effects on birds in fragmented secondary forest. Oikos 119:918-926.
Banks-Leite, C. & Ewers, R. M. 2009. Ecosystem Boundaries. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd: Chichester.
Banks-Leite, C., Prado, P.I. K.L., & Adalardo, A. 2009. Creating and editing graphs in R. On-line material for the course “Use of R language for ecological data analysis”. http://ecologia.ib.usp.br/bie5782/doku.php?id=bie5782:03_apostila:05a-graficos
Banks-Leite, C. 2009. Sugar cane drain. New Scientist 2715:24.
Banks-Leite, C. 2008. More ground work needed to prepare students for PhDs. Nature 455:285.
Banks-Leite, C. & Cintra, R. 2008. The heterogeneity of Amazonian treefall gaps and bird community composition. Ecotropica 14:1-13.
Cintra, R., Santos, P. M. R. S. & Banks-Leite, C. 2007. Composition and structure of the lacustrine bird communities of seasonally flooded wetlands of western Brazilian Amazonia at high water. Waterbirds 30:521-540.
Division of Biology
Imperial College London