Valentin Stefan

Contact

Valentin Stefan
Research Officer / Data Scientist 'Spatial Interaction Ecology'

Department of Community Ecology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ/

German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Puschstraße 4
D-04103 Leipzig, Germany
(postal address)

Tel: +49 341 9733210
Room: A.02.05

www.idiv.de
Valentin

Current project

DEVELOPING AUTOMATED TOOLS FOR DETECTION AND IDENTIFICATION OF INSECT POLLINATORS

Pollination is critical to many ecosystem services, such as the maintenance of biodiversity and human nutrition. Addressing how plant-pollinator interactions change across environmental gradients requires quantifying pollinator visitation.



However, we are limited by the available tools. Ecologists typically observe pollinators in the field, record the species identity of the easily distinguished individuals, and collect with a net the remaining individuals so that they can be later identified to species in the lab. This is labor and time-intensive.



The goal of this research is to develop an automated camera system capable of detecting and identifying insect pollinators to the lowest possible taxonomic level (order > family > genus > species). The purpose of the AI tools is to advance the field of pollination ecology by eliminating the time-consuming identification step that currently limits our ability to acquire data for broad-scale questions.


Curriculum Vitae

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

01/2021 - present: 

Research Officer / Data Scientist in the Research Group Spatial Interaction Ecology (SIE), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig.

06/2016 - 12/2020

Scientific programmer in the Research Group Spatial Interaction Ecology (SIE), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH – UFZ, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig.

07/2015 - 11/2015

Trainee: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Ispra, Italy;

04/2014 - 09/2014

Trainee: European Forest Institute, Nancy, France

08/2013 - 09/2013

Research assistant: University of Göttingen, Germany;

01/2013 - 02/2013

Research assistant: HNE Eberswalde, Germany

03/2012 - 06/2012

Intern: Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany

09/2011 - 12/2011

Forestry consultant: S.C. Forest Design S.R.L., Brașov, Romania

07/2010 - 07/2011

Forestry consultant: Global Forest Care S.A., Brașov, Romania


EDUCATION: 

2012- 2015

Master of Science “Forest Information Technology”, Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Germany & Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland.

2006 - 2010

Bachelor of Science in Forest science and engineering, "Transilvania" University of Brașov, Romania, Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Engineering.


Peer-reviewed Publications


Bennett, J. M., Steets, J. A., Burns, J. H., Burkle, L. A., Vamosi, J. C., Wolowski, M., Arceo-Gómez, G., Burd, M., Durka, W., Ellis, A. G., Freitas, L., Li, J., Rodger,. J. G., Ştefan, V., Xia, J, Knight, T. M. & Ashman, T. L. (2020). Land use and pollinator dependency drives global patterns of pollen limitation in the Anthropocene. Nature communications, 11(1), 1-6.



Bennett, J. M., Thompson, A., Goia, I., Feldmann, R., Ştefan, V., Bogdan, A., ... & Knight, T. M. (2018). A review of European studies on pollination networks and pollen limitation, and a case study designed to fill in a gap. AoB Plants, 10(6), ply068.



Pardini, E. A., Parsons, L. S., Ştefan, V., & Knight, T. M. (2018). GLMM BACI environmental impact analysis shows coastal dune restoration reduces seed predation on an endangered plant. Restoration Ecology, 26(6), 1190-1194.