PhD Defence: Daniel Ariano-Sánchez

Daniel Ariano-Sánchez will defend his PhD degree in ecology. This dissertation investigates the impact of climate change and habitat degradation on two endangered reptiles of Central America.

15 Jun

Practical information

  • Date: 15 June 2023
  • Time: 10.00 - 15.00
  • Location: Bø, room 5-115 and Zoom
  • Download calendar file


    10.00: Trial lecture: What future model-based methods should we apply to conserving seasonal tropical forests?

    12.00-15.00:  PhD defence:Impact of climate change and habitat degradation on two endangered reptiles: the Guatemalan beaded lizard and the Olive Ridley sea turtle


    Read the thesis here


    Watch the defence in Zoom

    Meeting ID: 664 5150 1199
    Password: 453279


    Evaluation committee

    • First opponent: Todd Lewis, Senior Lecturer, University of the West of England, Bristol
    • Second opponent: Andres Gimenez Casalduero, Professor, Universitas Miguel Hernández, Spain
    • Administrator: Mona Sæbø, Associate Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway
    • Defence leader: Andrew Jenkins, Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway



    • Main Supervisor : Stefanie
      Reinhardt, Associate Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway
    • Co-Supervisor : Frank Rosell, Professor, University of South-Eastern Norway
Any questions?

Daniel Ariano-Sánchez is defending his dissertation for the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) at the University of South-Eastern Norway.

Portrett av Daniel Ariano-Sánchez

The doctoral work has been carried out at the Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences at campus Bø. 

You are welcome to follow the trial lecture and the public defence.


Climate change and habitat degradation are the known as the main threats to reptiles. We have studied how these threats can affect two endangered tropical species of reptiles: one venomous terrestrial lizard (Guatemalan Beaded Lizard (Heloderma charlesbogerti)) and one marine sea turtle (Olive Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea)). We have found that seasonality in rainfall strongly affects the movement and habitat selection of the Guatemalan Beaded Lizard, and that habitat degradation can limit the potential of this species to cope with global warming and climate change. Also, we have found that increasing air temperatures could have a dramatic negative effect on these lizards by increasing their energy expenditures related to the search of suitable thermal retreats, thus potentially affecting the resilience of this species in the long term in the context of global warming.

Regarding the Olive Ridley sea turtle, we have found that global climate patterns such as El Niño can have some effects on the reproduction of the species but that this species is somewhat resilient to climate change compared to other sea turtle species. We have also found that habitat degradation of the coastal habitat in which this species nests, could have profound effects on the thermal profile of sand thus potentially affecting the hatching success of wild nests. This highlights the relevance of vegetation and undisturbed nesting beaches in buffering the effects of climate change in the Olive Ridley population studied.

To develop ecology science of endangered species is a challenge but is a must to develop better conservation strategies. The combined results in this thesis may inform better conservation strategies for the two studied endangered model species.