Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Dr Cécile Girardin


Research Groups


Dr Cécile Girardin

Post Doctoral Researcher and James Martin Fellow


As an environmental consultant, Cécile developed strong skills in policy analysis and data manipulation. As a Ph.D. student in the Oxford University School of Geography and the Environment (SoGE), she developed skills in data gathering and analysis through intensive fieldwork in Andean and Amazonian tropical forests. More recently, Cécile gained a robust understanding of the UNFCCC processes during a contract in the UN FAO, where she worked on the implementation of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification in UN-REDD+ countries. Cécile combines years of experience in climate change policy analysis with her knowledge in tropical ecology and thorough understanding of forest ecosystem functioning, providing a multidisciplinary approach to her work for the Environmental Change Institute's Ecosystems Science Team.

Cécile's research aims to provide some insights into the effects of climate change on the carbon dynamics of South American tropical forests. Her PhD focused on the effects of climate change on carbon dynamics along an Andean elevation transect. It did so by examining the interactions between environmental factors (temperature, rainfall, light) and above- and below-ground forest carbon dynamics on a transect ranging from 3000 m (26.4 °C) to 220 m (12.6 °C), situated in the Kosñipata valley and Tambopata, Peru. The outcomes of this study are currently being published. Cécile is now working with the team in Peru on a Special Issue focussing on the information obtained through intensive monitoring of these permanent plots. the information obtained through these publications can be used by the Peruvian Government to report on REDD+ activities to the UNFCCC.

Professional Experience

  • July 2010- present: Postdoc in the Ecosystems Lab, Oxford University Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment.
  • November 2009- now: Director, Oxford Biochar. Oxford Biochar is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to promote the sustainable use and commercialisation of biochar globally.
  • February-July 2010: Consultant in the FAO UN-REDD team
    At the international level, I am involved in developing a Proposal for forest MRV systems for REDD+ under the UNFCCC and several peer-reviewed papers on MRV issues. At the national level, I am following MRV system development and implementation in Indonesia and Vietnam and backstopping for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • August 2009: Freelance project for World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)
    I carried out research for a Guidebook to support the development of early action REDD activities, project lead by Dr P. Moura-Costa.
  • September 2008: HSBC Pilot project for Earthwatch
    Earthwatch is undertaking a five-year global programme of forest research, working with HSBC to help their employees learn more about climate change, what it means to the business and what they can do to combat it. I helped set up a pilot project for the first HSBC team collecting data in Wytham woods, Oxford, UK. This involved training and managing a team of 50 HSBC employees to set up and collect data from a 1 ha plot.
  • 2007-2010: Conservation International, RAINFOR-Andes, project manager
    I was responsible for coordinating RAINFOR-Andes, a continuation and an expansion of the RAINFOR network. The project aims to provide a solid platform for monitoring the impact of global warming in the Andes over the next decade and beyond. It will result in a peer-reviewed publication, listed below.
  • 2004-2006: Freelance consultant for Environmental Resources Management Ltd, Energy and Climate Change Team. List of projects available upon request.
  • 2003-2004: Freelance consultant for consultancies, international and governmental organisations. List of projects available upon request.
  • 2001-2003: Consultant, Environmental Resources Management Ltd., Energy and Climate Change Team
  • Summer 2001: Internship with Ecosecurities Ltd. during MSc thesis.


  • Aguirre-Gutierrez, J., Rifai, S., Shenkin, A., Oliveras, I., Bentley, L.P., Svatek, M., Girardin, C.A.J., Both, S., Riutta, T., Berenguer, E., Kissling, W.D., Bauman, D., Raab, N., Moore, S., Farfan-Rios, W., Figueiredo, A.E.S., Reis, S.M., Ndong, J.E., Ondo, F.E., N'ssi Bengone, N., Mihindou, V., Moraes de Seixas, M.M., Adu-Bredu, S., Abernethy, K., Asner, G.P., Barlow, J., Burslem, D.F.R.P., Coomes, D.A., Cernusak, L.A., Dargie, G.C., Enquist, B.J., Ewers, R.M., Ferreira, J., Jeffery, K.J., Joly, C.A., Lewis, S.L., Marimon-Junior, B.H., Martin, R.E., Morandi, P.S., Phillips, O.L., Quesada, C.A., Salinas, N., Schwantes Marimon, B., Silman, M., Teh, Y.A., White, L.J.T. and Malhi, Y. (2021) Pantropical modelling of canopy functional traits using Sentinel-2 remote sensing data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 252. 112122.
  • Malhi, Y., Girardin, C., Metcalfe, D.B., Doughty, C.E., Aragão, L.E.O.C., Rifai, S.W., Oliveras, I., Shenkin, A., Aguirre-Gutiérrez, J., Dahlsjö, C.A.L., Riutta, T., Berenguer, E., Moore, S., Huaraca Huasco, W., Salinas, N., da Costa, A.C.L., Bentley, L.P., Adu-Bredu, S., Marthews, T.R., Meir, P. and Phillips, O.L. (2021) The Global Ecosystems Monitoring network: Monitoring ecosystem productivity and carbon cycling across the tropics. Biological Conservation, 253. 108889.
  • Rifai, S.W., Girardin, C.A.J., Berenguer, E., del Aguila-Pasquel, J., Dahlsjo, C.A.L., Doughty, C.E., Jeffery, K.J., Moore, S., Oliveras, I., Riutta, T., Rowland, L.M., Murakami, A.A., Addo-Danso, S.D., Brando, P., Burton, C., Ondo, F.E., Duah-Gyamfi, A., Amezquita, F.F., Freitag, R., Pacha, F.H., Huasco, W.H., Ibrahim, F., Mbou, A.T., Mihindou, V.M., Peixoto, K.S., Rocha, W., Rossi, L.C., Seixas, M., Silva-Espejo, J.E., Abernethy, K.A., Adu-Bredu, S., Barlow, J., da Costa, A.C.L., Marimon, B.S., Marimon, B., Meir, P., Metcalfe, D.B., Phillips, O.L., White, L.J.T. and Malhi, Y. (2018) ENSO drives interannual variation of forest woody growth across the tropics. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 373(1760).
  • Doughty, C.E., Metcalfe, D.B., Girardin, C.A.J., Amezquita, F.F., Durand, L., Huaraca Huasco, W., Silva-Espejo, J.E., Araujo-Murakami, A., da Costa, M.C., da Costa, A.C.L., Rocha, W., Meir, P., Galbraith, D. and Malhi, Y. (2015) Source and sink carbon dynamics and carbon allocation in the Amazon basin. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 29(5): 645-655.
  • Doughty, C.E., Metcalfe, D.B., Girardin, C.A.J., Farfan Amezquita, F., Galiano Cabrera, D., Huaraca Huasco, W., Silva-Espejo, J.E., Araujo-Murakami, A., da Costa, M.C., Rocha, W., Feldpausch, T.R., Mendoza, A.L.M., da Costa, A.C.L., Meir, P., Phillips, O.L. and Malhi, Y. (2015) Drought impact on forest carbon dynamics and fluxes in Amazonia. Nature, 519: 78-82.
  • Malhi, Y., Doughty, C.E., Goldsmith, G.R., Girardin, C.A.J., Marthews, T.R., Aguila-Pasquel, J., Aragao, L.E.O.C., Araujo-Murakami, A., Brando, P., da Costa, A.C.L., Silva-Espejo, J.E., Amezquita, F.F., Galbraith, D.R., Quesada, C.A., Rocha, W., Salinas-Revilla, N., Silverio, D., Meir, P. and Phillips, O.L. (2015) The linkages between photosynthesis, productivity, growth and biomass in lowland Amazonian forests. Global Change Biology, 21(6): 2283-2295.
  • Malhi, Y., Saatchi, S., Girardin, C.A.J. and Aragao, L. (2009) The production, storage and flow of carbon in Amazonian forests. In, Keller, M., Bustamante, M., Gash, J. and P. Silva Dias (eds.) Amazonia and Global Change. American Geophysical Union. 576 pp. ISBN: 978-0-87590-476-4. Geophysical Monograph Series, Vol. 186.
  • Malhi, Y., Saatchi, S., Girardin, C.A.J. and Aragao, L.E.O.C. (2008) Carbon Storage and Flow in Amazonian Forests. Proceedings of the Large-Scale Atmosphere Biosphere.
  • Girardin, C.A.J. (2005) Regulatory treatment of Carbon Capture and Storage in different jurisdictions. International Energy Agency GHG R&D Programme
  • Girardin, C.A.J. (2004) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Simulation 4 (GETS4) for Eurelectric, 2004, scenario modeling of the international emissions trading market under different post-2012 "beyond Kyoto" scenarios. Eurelectric.
  • Girardin, C.A.J. (2004) Recommendations to the European Commission on Monitoring and Reporting of Carbon Capture and Storage under the EU ETS. UK Department of Trade and Industry
  • Girardin, C.A.J. (2004) World Bank Guidelines for CDM Projects in China. Guidelines for project developers in waste to energy projects in China. World Bank