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 natural 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


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 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 Cécile GirardinDr Cécile GirardinPost Doctoral Researcher and James Martin Fellow
 James Hall James HallSoftware Developer
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
Dr Imma OliverasDr Imma OliverasDepartmental Research Lecturer in Ecosystems Science and Deputy Programme Leader on Ecosystems
 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 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

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

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)

Anabelle Cardoso

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

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

Gonzalo Griebenow

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Carolina Gueiros

Forest Governance in the Brazilian Amazon: Policy Change and Innovation to Curb Deforestation

Supervisors: Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Constance McDermott

Agne Gvozdevaite

Functional diversity of tropical rainforests and their sensitivity to environmental change

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Imma Oliveras

Logan Hamilton

Political decentralisation as a driver of change in Indonesian village level forest governance institutions and practices

Supervisors: Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Constance McDermott

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

Christine Moore

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

Nicolas Raab

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi

June Rubis

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

Supervisor: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi