Biogeography & Macroecology

Studying geo-ecosystems and the distribution of life on Earth

Biogeography & Macroecology

The Biogeography & Macroecology (BIOMAC) lab is a research group at the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Netherlands. We are part of the Department Theoretical and Computational Ecology (TCE) within the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED). The central aim of our work is to quantify how the biotic and abiotic components of the Earth system vary across space and time, how they interact, and how responses of biodiversity to changing environmental conditions can be predicted.

The group comprises associate and assistant professors, lecturers, post-docs, and PhD and MSc students. We cover a wide variety of scientific backgrounds, including macroecology, physical geography, biodiversity, geomorphology, island biogeography, geodiversity, macroevolution and global change. Please read more about our research and our teaching, have a look at our news page, or get in touch with our lab members.


Selected publications

  • Onstein, R.E., Baker, W.J., Couvreur, T.L.P., Faurby, S., Svenning, J.-C. & Kissling, W.D. (2017): Frugivory-related traits promote speciation of tropical palms. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1: 1903–1911. [ABSTRACT] [DATA & CODE] [PRESS RELEASE] [BLOG]

  • Norder, S.J., Baumgartner, J.B., Borges, P.A.V., Hengl, T., Kissling, W.D., van Loon, E.E. & Rijsdijk, K.F. (2018): A global spatially explicit database of changes in island paleo-area and archipelago configuration during the late Quaternary. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27: 500–505. [ABSTRACT] [DATA]

  • Heinen, J.H., van Loon, E.E., Hansen, D.M. & Kissling, W.D. (2018): Extinction-driven changes in frugivore communities on oceanic islands. Ecography (in press). [ABSTRACT] [BLOG]

  • Seijmonsbergen A.C., De Jong M.G.G., Hagendoorn B., Oostermeijer J.G.B., Rijsdijk K.F. (2018): Geodiversity mapping in alpine areas, p. 155-170. In: Hoorn C., Perrigo A. & Antonelli A. (eds.): Mountains, climate and biodiversity. 544 pp. Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN: 978-1-119-15987-2. [TABLE OF CONTENTs OF BOOK]

  • Davidson, M.D. (2017). Equity and the conservation of global ecosystem services. Sustainability 9: 339. [ABSTRACT]



Our Ecography paper is highlighted on the cover


Our recent Ecography paper on extinction-driven changes in frugivore communities on oceanic islands has been selected for the August 2018 cover of the journal.

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Youtube videos about our island extinction research


Julia Heinen presents two Youtube videos about our recent Ecography paper on extinction-driven changes in frugivore communities on oceanic islands

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Biggest palm fruits disappear from rainforests


A new study by Renske Onstein and W. Daniel Kissling shows that palm trees with very large fruits are increasingly lost from tropical rainforests worldwide.

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Welcome to Babak Naimi!


Babak Naimi has started as a new Postdoc in our group with focus on global ecology and biodiversity. Welcome to the BIOMAC lab!

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Renske Onstein becomes junior research group leader at iDiv


Our former Postdoc Renske Onstein has started as a junior research group leader at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig, Germany. Congratulations!

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Evolution conference

Montpellier - France

The second joint congress on Evolutionary Biology (Evolution 2018 Montpellier), gathering the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB), the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB) will be held from 19-22 August 2018 in Montpellier, France. The meeting will bring together evolutionary biologists from four of the world's largest academic societies in this field.



Sea-level rise conference

Utrecht - The Netherlands

The INQUA-PAGES conference for early-career researchers on 'Impacts of sea-level rise from past to present' will be held from 26-29 August 2018, Utrecht, the Netherlands. It will facilitate scientific exchange between early-career researchers (ECRs) from a broad range of disciplines working with sea-level change.


Ecological Informatics Conference

Jena - Germany

The 10th International Conference on Ecological Informatics (ICEI2018) will be held from 24-28 September 2018 in Jena, Germany. It will bring together researchers interested in data-intensive ecology – both from an ecological and a computer science point of view.


Remote sensing in Ecology and Conservation Workshop

Leiden - The Netherlands

This symposium will present the state-of-the-art research of remote sensing in ecology and conservation and discuss a vision for the future of remote sensing in ecological applications. W. Daniel Kissling will present the eEcoLiDAR project with a talk about the 3D reconstruction of animal habitats from airborne laser scanning data.