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.

RESEARCH GROUPS

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, Ecosystem Services and Climate Adaptation

The Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Climate Adaptation research group is at the forefront of mapping, assessing and valuing the effects of environmental change on species, ecosystems and the services they provide. 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

OUR RESEARCH SHOWS THAT THE RATE OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS IN DROUGHT-AFFECTED PLOTS SLOWED BY AROUND 10 PERCENT OVER SIX MONTHS BUT THE GROWTH OF TREES DURING A SEVERE DROUGHT WAS UNCHANGED.

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 Aida Cuni SanchezDr Aida Cuni SanchezResearch Associate in Central African Vegetation Carbon Stocks
Dr Robert DunfordDr Robert DunfordSenior Research Fellow
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
 Miguel Jodra Miguel JodraLaboratory Technician
Dr Sen LiDr Sen LiResearcher
Professor Yadvinder MalhiProfessor Yadvinder MalhiLeader, Ecosystems Research Programme
Professor of Ecosystem Science
Dr Constance McDermottDr Constance McDermottSenior Fellow in Forest Governance and Leader of Ecosystems Governance Group
Dr Sam MooreDr Sam MoorePost Doctoral Research Assistant in Tropical Carbon Dynamics
Dr Alexandra MorelDr Alexandra MorelPost Doctoral Researcher
 Emily Read Emily ReadProject Assistant to the Ecosystems Programme, ECI
Dr Sami RifaiDr Sami RifaiResearch Associate in Ecosystems Modelling and Climate Data
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/MPhil in Environmental Change and Management
Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor
Dr Jianjun YuDr Jianjun YuResearcher

Doctoral research (NEW)

Rodrigo Arce

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

Supervisor: Dr Constance McDermott

Festus Asaaga

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

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Mark Hirons

Meghan Bailey

Robust adaptation planning and decision-making: a comparative study of subsistence-oriented communities in the Indo-Gangetic Plain and West Africa

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Aoife Bennett-Curry

The political ecology of oil palm, people and forest conservation: searching for a balanced approach to development in the Peruvian Amazon

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Constance McDermott; Dr Peter Cronkleton (CIFOR)

Laura Brinker

Energy decisions and governance: implications of retail market design for decentralized energy resources

Supervisor: Prof. Nick Eyre; Dr Matthew Lockwood (University of Exeter)

Iliana Cardenes Trujillo

Saving energy and saving water: a comparative study in policy and regulation

Supervisors: Prof. Nick Eyre; Prof. Jim Hall

Anabelle Cardoso

What controls vegetation dynamics in a Central African forest-savanna mosaic: fire or mega-fauna?

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Robert Carlsson

Understanding the economic role of national infrastructure systems

Supervisor: Prof. Jim Hall

Abrar Chaudhury

Financial and institutional design of climate change adaptation

Supervisor: Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Marc Ventresca (SSB)

Claudia Comberti

Adaptation to environmental change in Amazonian Indigenous communities: the role of human-ecosystem interactions in supporting positive change

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Richard Grenyer

Franziska Gaupp

The global impact of droughts on agricultural production

Supervisors: Dr Simon Dadson; Prof. Jim Hall

Gonzalo Griebenow

Land use, forest elephants and REDD+. A case study in Bia and Kakum Conservation Areas

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Agne Gvozdevaite

Functional diversity of tropical rainforests and their sensitivity to environmental change

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Imma Oliveras

Dina Hestad

Transformational capacity: investigating organisations ability to foster social transformation towards sustainability

Supervisors: Dr Tom Thornton; Patrick Pringle

Xi (Sisi) Hu

China's evolving vulnerability to climate change impacts: a spatial analysis of its infrastructure system

Supervisor: Prof. Jim Hall

Takeshi Inagawa

Nutrient cycling in altered tropical forest ecosystems of Malaysian Borneo

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Terhi Riutta

Toby Jackson

Wind damage and the mechanical strength of trees. Why are trees in Borneo so tall?

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Alexander Shenkin; Dr Lisa Patrick Bentley

Ashley Kingsborough

Climate change risk assessment, Decision making and the development of adaptation pathways

Supervisor: Prof. Jim Hall

Toru Kubo

Technology innovation and policy instruments to advance low-carbon transport in developing Asian economies

Supervisors: Prof. David Banister; Dr Christian Brand

Jae-Young Lee

The role of water quality in regional water resources assessment

Supervisors: Prof. Paul Whitehead; Prof. Jim Hall

Xiawei Liao

Identifying and understanding changes in water-energy linkage for China

Supervisors: Prof. Nick Eyre; Prof. Jim Hall

Yingqi Liu

Residential Demand Response (DR) in the UK: the potential in low carbon energy transformation, social implication and interaction with energy efficiency

Supervisors: Dr Sarah Darby; Prof. Nick Eyre

Qiong Lu

Global and local issues of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): processed based modelling in river basins

Supervisor: Prof. Paul Whitehead

Ewan Macdonald

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Scott MacDonald

An international comparison of voluntary green electricity tariffs

Supervisor: Prof. Nick Eyre

Christine Moore

Understanding social-ecological resilience in a cocoa producing region: a study of Ghana's Kakum Region

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Kiron Neale

Beyond implementation: mainstreaming solar energy into Trinidad's residential sector

Supervisors: Dr Chris Jardine; Prof. Nick Eyre

Sarah O'Keefe

Climate scenarios for water security assessment in major African river basins

Supervisors: Dr Simon Dadson; Dr Friederike Otto

Brice Perombelon

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

Supervisors: Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Richard Powell

Nicolas Raab

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Jose Ramirez Mendiola

The pathway to a sustainable energy infrastructure system

Supervisors: Prof. Nick Eyre; Prof. Jim Hall

Ruksana Rimi

Climate change and high-impact weather events: implications for water resource and agriculture in Bangladesh

Supervisor: Prof. Myles Allen

June Rubis

(Re)imagining forest conservation landscapes and development pathways: indigenous strategies in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Kevin Wheeler

Cooperation or conflict in trans-boundary rivers with the emergence of climate variability: a case study of the Nile River

Supervisor: Prof. Jim Hall

Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria

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

Supervisor: Dr Tom Thornton

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

Impacts of leaf age on the spectral and physiochemical traits of trees in Amazonian forest canopies


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

Nutrient cycling in altered tropical forest ecosystems of Malaysian Borneo

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?