Martijn is a global change ecologist who combines models and field studies to understand how wildlife copes with our rapidly changing environment. In his research he takes a quantitative approach to global change ecology, not so much interested in showing that there are effects, but in estimating how strong these effects are, how certain we can be about them, translate what this means for population numbers (as this is most relevant to management) and what the most efficient way is to mitigate impacts. Mathematical modelling and advanced statistical tools are combined with data collection from the field (e.g. GPS-tracking of birds and airplanes), often taking a landscape or even global perspective (e.g. comparative analysis on multi-species datasets).

Before joining JCU in 2021 he worked at various institutes across the globe (Netherlands, Germany, Norway) and as an ARC Future Fellow at the Australian National University. He has over 80 publications, which are widely cited (top 1% when accounting for study field, career stage and author position). He sits on the Editorial Board for Proceedings of the Royal Society: B.

Interested in joining?

I am keen to advise PhD, Masters-by-Research, honours and Postdoc projects on topics that improve our understanding of how organisms cope with environmental change (or any other topic that you can convince me is exciting). I encourage you to develop your own ideas, but below are some example topics that could be particularly suitable and timely.

If you are interested, please reach out (martijn.vandepol@jcu.edu.au) with a summary of your previous research experience, and the type of research project that you wish to undertake (or drop by my office for a chat). PhD/MSc Scholarships schemes are available for both domestic and international students. Postdocs can explore the ARC-DECRA fellowship scheme, or overseas funding opportunities (e.g. EU MSCA global postdoctoral fellowship allow for Europeans to work in Australia).Students considering doing an Honours project can look here. Ideas for project topics:

- Statistical tools for robust climate change biology.

- Population dynamical responses to climate change on a continental scale.

- Demographic models of the evolution of cooperation.

- The impact of sea level rise on shorebirds – a global analysis.

Ongoing funded research projects

  • Cumulative Human Impact of Bird Populations (2016-22; funded by applied research council, Air force, NAM gas mining, BirdLife). Two PhD students and a postdoc quantify how sea level rise, soil subsidence, disturbance, fisheries, climate change and agricultural intensification accumulate to affect bird populations and identify the most efficient mitigation and conservation actions.
  • Studying “Wild eco-evolutionary dynamics: the decline of an iconic Australian bird”, (ARC Discovery grant 2018-2023, with Loeske Kruuk & Andrew Cockburn, ANU).
  • Involvement in various other projects as a partner investigator:
    • Individual heterogeneity in animals’ life-histories’, with Stephanie Jenouvrier - Woods Hole Institute USA & Remi Fay - NTNU Norway.
    • sTraitChange studies how trait responses to climate change translate into demographic rates and population dynamics, led by Viktoriia Radchuk IZW Berlin.
    • ‘When is global change too much? Limits to plastic responses in wild birds’, led by Celine Teplitsky, CNRS France. 
    • ECOVAR studies how to manage ecosystems in an increasingly variable world, led by Yngvild Vindenes, Oslo University.
  • BS5260: Modelling Ecological Dynamics (Level 5; TSV)
  • BZ3755: Climate Change and Biodiversity (Level 3; TSV)
  • BZ5755: Climate Change and Biodiversity (Level 5; TSV)
  • MA3211: Mathematical Modelling and Differential Equations (Level 3; TSV)
  • SC2209: Quantitative Methods in Science-Advanced (Level 2; TSV)
  • 2021 to present - Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2017 to 2021 - Senior Researcher & Group Leader, Netherlands Institute of Ecology of the Royal Academy of Sciences NIOO-KNAW (Wageningen, the Netherlands)
  • 2013 to 2016 - ARC Future Fellow & Senior Lecturer, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2012 - ARC Australian Postdoctoral Discovery Fellow, Australian National University (Canberra, Australia)
  • 2007 to 2009 - NWO Rubicon Fellow, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway)
  • 2007 - Max Planck Society Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany)
  • 2001 to 2006 - PhD, Groningen University (Groningen, the Netherlands)
  • 1994 to 2001 - BSc & MSc, Utrecht University (Utrecht, the Netherlands)
Research Disciplines
  • 2019 - Globally ranked in top 1% of citation scores across all fields, when accounting for career stage, research field and author position on papers (data till 2019; see list in https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000918)
  • 2017 - Globally ranked in top 1% of citation scores across all fields, when accounting for career stage, research field and author position on papers (data till 2017; see list in https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000384)
  • 2006 - PhD cum laude (highest distinction, top 5%)
  • 2013 to 2016 - Future fellowship (Australian Research Council )
  • 2010 to 2012 - Australian Postdoctoral Discovery fellowship (Australian Research Council)
  • 2008 to 2009 - Rubicon fellowship (NWO, Dutch Research Council)
  • 2007 - Max Planck Society visiting scholarship
  • 2018 - Associate Editor for Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences
  • 2013 to 2021 - Board Member Centre for Avian Population Studies
  • 2012 to 2020 - Associate Editor for Journal of Animal Ecology
  • 2017 - Theme issue editor of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 42+ research outputs authored by Dr Martijn van de Pol from 2016 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

British Ornithologists? Union - CAREER DEVELOPMENT BURSARIES

Quantifying the climate sensitivity across birds in tropical Africa

Indicative Funding
This travel grant for overseas ECR to visit JCU for several weeks allows for setting up a new collaboration to study the climate sensitivity across birds in tropical Africa. The visiting ECR Chima Nwaogu (University of Cape Town) will perform sliding window analyses (using a method developed at JCU) across a large set of long-term datasets on the timing of egg laying from Zambia (1969-2006). This will be used to determine how climate sensitive different African bird species are and next derive general understanding of which type of which species are most sensitive to a changing climate in this part of the world . This project is important because there have been very little comparative studies on this topic from the southern hemisphere and tropics due to the paucity of long-term datasets in this region. The visit is planned for the second half of 2022, the exact dates and duration may vary due to border situation and amount of funding awarded.
Martijn van de Pol and Chima Nwaogu (College of Science & Engineering and University of Cape Town)
birds. biostatistics; climate change; climwin; comparative study; ecological responses; tropical Africa

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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