Colombia is one of few megadiverse countries. In an area that spans less than 1% of the continental surface of the planet, Colombia has between 15-20% of the diversity of species in different taxonomic groups, such as birds and plants. Unfortunately, this biological richness is threatened by the different human activities like deforestation, dehydration of humid zones, contamination, introduction of invasive species, and climate change. Professor Kattan’s research focuses on understanding the evolutionary and ecological factors that generate this diversity, such as how the biodiversity is affected by human activities and how they can be restored. Colombia’s position in the tropical zone is a determining factor, but in particular the formation and current configuration of the Andean mountains constitutes a crucial element in the diversification of the different lineages and the conformation of biotic communities at regional and local scales. To understand the actual patterns of biological diversity it is necessary to understand how the evolutionary and ecological processes interact as a function of space and time, and how the anthropogenic processes that transform the natural landscape affect them. He wants to elucidate how the factors that operate at the level of organisms are integrated in the population dynamics that translates in the assembly of sets of species or communities at a local scale, which can be altered by regional environmental gradients. On the other hand, the biogeographic processes at larger spatial and temporal scales have generated a regional biota, which determines the set of species available to conform the local communities by colonization and extinction processes. Understanding the local and regional interactions is key to predicting and mitigating the impact of human activities on the biota. These studies are based on field work and predictive models.
Characterization of the pairwise interaction networks in the Andean forests, to determine its robustness or vulnerability and characterize the biota response to climate change. Models and methods for cost-effectively monitoring the biodiversity and inform conservation processes. Climate change impact on birds (grant: Javeriana).