ECI is advancing our scientific understanding of ecosystems and their role in the Earth's system. Researchers are examining how ecosystems function and respond to contemporary environmental change, including climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and exploring the social, cultural and political impact of such interactions. Using this knowledge we can advise how best to manage and respond to the changes and help towards a sustainable future for our planet's biological heritage.


Ecosystems Lab

The Ecosystem Lab seeks to understand what makes contemporary ecosystems; and how they may be affected by direct human pressures and global atmospheric change. Led by Yadvinder Malhi.

Projects +

Ecosystems Governance Group

The Ecosystems Governance Group seeks to strengthen our understanding of how state and non-state institutions and actors shape decisions about the conservation and use of forest resources around the world. Led by Constance McDermott

Projects +

Biodiversity and Climate Adaptation

The Biodiversity and Climate Adaptation research group is at the forefront of integrating and improving techniques for the observation and projection of the effects of environmental change on species, ecosystems and the services they provide at the international and national level. Led by Pam Berry.

Projects +

Ecosystem Stewardship

This research theme examines the human ecology, adaptation, local and traditional ecological knowledge, conservation, coastal and marine environments, conceptualizations of space and place, and the political ecology of resource management. Led by Thomas Thornton

Projects +

Ecosystem news

Research outputs

Do animal extinctions make the planet less fertile?

Dr Chris Doughty explains his research and how important nutrients are recycled by large megafauna.

  • Jun 2015

Megafauna and Ecosystem Function: from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

Professor Yadvinder Malhi introduces our recent conference which examines the role that large animals (megafauna) play in ecosystem function in the context of past, present and future ecosystems.

  • March 2014

Latest publications

More publications


Doughty et al (2015) Drought impact on forest carbon dynamics and fluxes in Amazonia. Nature.

Ecosystem Programme staff

Dr Liana AndersonDr Liana AndersonPost Doctoral Research Associate in Land Cover Dynamics and Carbon Emissions
 Jane Applegarth Jane ApplegarthAdministrative / Project Assistant to the Ecosystems Programme
Dr Lisa Patrick BentleyDr Lisa Patrick BentleyPost Doctoral Researcher and Wolfson College Research Fellow
Dr Pam BerryDr Pam BerryCollege Lecturer and Researcher
 Finella Blair Finella BlairData Manager for NERC Human Modified Tropical Forests Programme
Dr Benjamin BlonderDr Benjamin BlonderNERC Independent Research Fellow
Dr Sallie BurroughDr Sallie BurroughTrapnell Research Fellow in African Environments
Dr Percival ChoDr Percival ChoPost Doctoral Researcher
Dr Chris DoughtyDr Chris DoughtyLecturer in Ecosystem Ecology
Departmental Research Lecturer
Dr Nikolaos FyllasDr Nikolaos FyllasPost Doctoral Researcher in Forest Dynamics/Modelling
Dr Cécile GirardinDr Cécile GirardinPost Doctoral Researcher and James Martin Fellow
Dr Mark HironsDr Mark HironsPost Doctoral Researcher
Dr Sen LiDr Sen LiResearcher
Professor Yadvinder MalhiProfessor Yadvinder MalhiLeader, Ecosystems Research Programme
Professor of Ecosystem Science
Dr Sam MooreDr Sam MoorePost Doctoral Research Assistant in Tropical Carbon Dynamics
Dr Alexandra MorelDr Alexandra MorelPost Doctoral Researcher
Dr Imma OliverasDr Imma OliverasPostdoctoral Research Assistant in Plant Traits Analysis
 Emily Read Emily ReadProject Assistant to the Ecosystems Programme, ECI
Dr Terhi RiuttaDr Terhi RiuttaPost Doctoral Researcher in Ecosystems
Dr Norma Salinas RevillaDr Norma Salinas RevillaPost Doctoral Research Assistant in Tropical Carbon Dynamics
Dr Alexander ShenkinDr Alexander ShenkinPost Doctoral Researcher
 Alison Smith Alison SmithResearcher
Dr Tom ThorntonDr Tom ThorntonDirector of the MSc in Environmental Change and Management
Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor
Dr Jianjun YuDr Jianjun YuResearcher
Dr Kasia ZieminskaDr Kasia ZieminskaPostdoctoral Research Assistant

Doctoral research

Rodrigo Arce

Certified forest industry diversification in the Bolivian Northern Amazon: escaping the staple trap in the forest carbon era

Festus Asaaga

Smallholder agriculture and ecosystem degradation in rural Africa: empirical analysis of farmers' land use decisions

Aoife Bennett-Curry

The political ecology of secondary and fragmented forests in the Peruvian Amazon

Cecilia Chavana-Bryant

Relationships between leaf life-cycle and canopy shadow patterns on Earth Observation-derived indices in Amazonian forests

Claudia Comberti

Adaptation to environmental change in Amazonian indigenous communities: understanding the role of biocultural diversity and ecosystem services in supporting positive change

Daniel Cooper

Under Mount Roraima: the conservation and development of a sacred landscape

Tahia Devisscher

Enhancing the adaptive capacity of social-ecological systems in tropical forest landscapes

Gonzalo Griebenow

REDD+ as an alternative for poverty alleviation in Ghana and Peru

Alexis Gutierrez

Consumers and environmental labelling - what do they actually understand? A case study of the seafood industry

Agne Gvozdevaite

The functional diversity of tropical forests and their sensitivity to drought

Takeshi Inagawa

The political ecology of secondary and fragmented forests in the Peruvian Amazon

Ewan Macdonald

How can we maximise the contribution of carbon finance mechanisms to deliver biodiversity co-benefits to species and ecosystem conservation?

Christine Moore

The functioning of intact and human-modified tropical forests

Brice Perombelon

Geopolitical Arctic(s). Indigenous representations of geo-power: the case of the Sahtu Denes

Nicolas Raab

Modeling tree carbon allocation, gas and energy exchange in the Amazon through functional structural models

Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria

Linking interactions between cultural and biological diversity on the Pacific coast of North America in the face of climate change

Toby Jackson

Tree mechanics. How does wind damage affect the carbon cycle in tropical and temperate forests?