Yadvinder Malhi CBE FRS is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, and Jackson Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College.

Professor Malhi explores the functioning of the biosphere and its interactions with global change, including climate change. He has a particular fascination with and love for tropical forests, though he has recently been spotted in ecosystems ranging from savannas, the Arctic, tropical coral reefs and Oxfordshire's woodlands and floodplain meadows.

He looks at how natural ecosystems may be shifting in response to global atmospheric change, and how protecting or restoring natural ecosystems can help tackle climate change, and help adaptation to the consequences of climate change.

His team at the Environmental Change Institute is known for collecting intensive field data from fascinating but sometimes tough and remote forests. They have ongoing programmes of research in Asia, Africa, the Amazon and Andes regions, and Oxford's own Wytham Woods. A new recent focus has been on nature recovery and biodiversity restoration in the UK.

While addressing fundamental questions about ecosystem function and dynamics, his research findings are significant for conservation and adaptation to climate change. He is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum of London, past President-Elect of the British Ecological Society, chairs a number of programmes on biodiversity at the Royal Society, and is a scientific advisor on nature restoration for the UK government and the government of Scotland.

He leads an active Ecosystem Dynamics research lab focussing on forest vegetation-atmosphere interactions, employing field studies, satellite remote sensing and ecosystem modelling.


The broad scope of my research interests is the impact of global change on the ecology, structure and composition of terrestrial ecosystems, and in particular temperate and tropical forests, though recently I have been spotted a few times in the Antarctic and Arctic … This research addresses fundamental questions about ecosystem function and dynamics, whilst at the same time providing outputs of direct relevance for conservation and adaptation to climate change. We apply a range of techniques including field physiological studies, large-scale and long-term ecological monitoring, social sciences methods, satellite remote-sensing and GIS, ecosystem modelling, and micrometeorological techniques.

My team has a reputation in collecting intensive field data from fascinating but sometimes tough and remote forests, and linking these data to models and satellite data to address global issues surrounding tropical forests.

My university post is supported by the Jackson Foundation, and our global research is funded by grants from the European Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council, and others.
















  • Anderson, L.O., Malhi, Y., Ladle, R.J., Aragao, L., Shimabukuro, Y., Phillips, O.L., Baker, T., Costa, A.C.L., Espejo, J.S., Higuchi, N., Laurance, W.F., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Monteagudo, A., Nunez-Vargas, P., Peacock, J., Quesada, C.A. and Almeida, S. (2009) Influence of landscape heterogeneity on spatial patterns of wood productivity, wood specific density and above ground biomass in Amazonia. Biogeosciences, 6: 1883-1902.
  • Aragao, L., Malhi, Y., Metcalfe, D.B., Silva-Espejo, J.E., Jimenez, E., Navarrete, D., Almeida, S., Costa, A.C.L., Salinas, N. and Phillips, O.L. (2009) Above-and below-ground net primary productivity across ten Amazonian forests on contrasting soils. Biogeosciences, 6: 2759-2778.
  • Baker, T.R., Phillips, O.L., Laurance, W.F., Pitman, N.C.A., Almeida, S., Arroyo, L., DiFiore, A., Erwin, T., Higuchi, N., Killeen, T.J., Laurance, S.G., Nascimento, H., Monteagudo, A., Neill, D.A., Silva, J.N.M., Malhi, Y., Gonzalez, G.L., Peacock, J., Quesada, C.A., Lewis, S.L. and Lloyd, J. (2009) Do species traits determine patterns of wood production in Amazonian forests? Biogeosciences, 6: 297-307.
  • Butt, N., Campbell, G., Malhi, Y., Morecroft, M., Fenn, K. and Thomas, M. (2009) Initial Results from Establishment of a Long-term Broadleaf Monitoring Plot at Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK. University of Oxford
  • Butt, N., New, M., Lizcano, G. and Malhi, Y. (2009) Spatial patterns and recent trends in cloud fraction and cloud-related diffuse radiation in Amazonia. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 114(D21104).
  • Fisher, J.B., Malhi, Y., Bonal, D., Da Rocha, H.R., De Araujo, A.C., Gamo, M., Goulden, M.L., Hirano, T., Huete, A.R., Kondo, H., Kumagai, T., Loescher, H.W., Miller, S., Nobre, A.D., Nouvellon, Y., Oberbauer, S.F., Panuthai, S., Roupsard, O., Saleska, S., Tanaka, K., Tanaka, N., Tu, K.P. and Von Randow, C. (2009) The land-atmosphere water flux in the tropics. Global Change Biology, 15(11): 2694-2714.
  • Fyllas, N.M., Patino, S., Baker, T.R., Nardoto, G.B., Martinelli, L.A., Quesada, C.A., Paiva, R., Schwarz, M., Horna, V., Mercado, L.M., Santos, A., Arroyo, L., Jimenez, E.M., Luizao, F.J., Neill, D.A., Silva, N., Prieto, A., Rudas, A., Silviera, M., Vieira, I.C.G., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Malhi, Y., Phillips, O.L. and Lloyd, J. (2009) Basin-wide variations in foliar properties of Amazonian forest: phylogeny, soils and climate. Biogeosciences, 6: 3707-3769.
  • Gloor, M., Phillips, O.L., Lloyd, J.J., Lewis, S.L., Malhi, Y., Baker, T.R., López-Gonzalez, G., Peacock, J., Almeida, S., Alves de Oliveira, A.C., Alvarez, E., Amaral, I., Arroyo, L., Aymard, G., Bank, O., Blanc, L., Bonal, D., Brando, P., Chao, K-J., Chave, J., Dávila, N., Erwin, T., Silva, J., di Fiore, A., Feldpausch, T.R., Freitas, A., Herrera, R., Higuchi, N., Honorio, E., Jiménez, E., Killeen, T., Laurance, W., Mendoza, C., Monteagudo, A., Andrade, A., Neil, D., Nepstad, D., Núñez Vargas, P., Peñuela, M.C., Peña Cruz, A., Prieto, A., Pitman, N., Quesada, C., Salomão, R., Silveira, M., Schwarz, M., Stropp, J., Ramírez, F., Ramírez, H., Rudas, A., Ter Steege, H., Silva, N., Torres, A., Terborgh, J., Vásquez, R. and Van der Heijden, G. (2009) Does the disturbance hypothesis explain the biomass increase in basin-wide Amazon forest plot data? Global Change Biology, 15(10): 2418-2430.
  • Lewis, S.L., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Sonke, B., Affum-Baffoe, K., Baker, T.R., Ojo, L.O., Phillips, O.L., Reitsma, J.M., White, L., Comiskey, J.A., Djuikouo, M.N., Ewango, C.E.N., Feldpausch, T.R., Hamilton, A.C., Gloor, M., Hart, T., Hladik, A., Lloyd, J., Lovett, J.C., Makana, J.R., Malhi, Y., Mbago, F.M., Ndangalasi, H.J., Peacock, J., Peh, K.S.H., Sheil, D., Sunderland, T., Swaine, M.D., Taplin, J., Taylor, D., Thomas, S.C., Votere, R. and Woll, H. (2009) Increasing carbon storage in intact African forests. Nature, 457: 1003-1006.
  • Malhado, A.C.M., Malhi, Y., Whittaker, R.J., Ladle, R.J., ter Steege, H., Phillips, O.L., Butt, N., Aragao, L., Quesada, C.A., Araújo-Murakami, A., Arroyo, L., Peacock, J., López-González, G.T., Baker, R., Anderson, L.O., Almeida, S., Higuchi, N., Killeen, T.J., Monteagudo, A., Neill, D., Pitman, N., Prieto, A., Salomão, R.P., Vásquez-Martínez, R. and Laurance, W.F. (2009) Spatial trends in leaf size of Amazonian rainforest trees. Biogeosciences, 6: 1563-1576.
  • Malhado, A.C.M., Whittaker, R.J., Malhi, Y., Ladle, R.J., ter Steege, H., Butt, N., Aragao, L., Quesada, C.A., Murakami-Araújo, A., Phillips, O.L., Peacock, J., López-González, G., Baker, T.R., Anderson, L.O., Arroyo, L., Almeida, S., Higuchi, N., Killeen, T.J., Monteagudo, A., Neill, D.A., Pitman, N.C.A., Prieto, A., Salamão, R.P., Vásquez-Martínez, R., Laurance, W.F. and Ramírez, A.H. (2009) Spatial distribution and functional significance of leaf lamina shape in Amazonian forest trees. Biogeosciences, 6: 1577-1590.
  • Malhi, Y., Aragao, L., Galbraith, D., Huntingford, C., Fisher, R., Zelazowski, P., Sitch, S., McSweeney, C. and Meir, P. (2009) Exploring the likelihood and mechanism of a climate-change-induced dieback of the Amazon rainforest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(49): 20610-20615.
  • Malhi, Y., Aragao, L., Metcalfe, D.B., Paiva, R., Quesada, C.A., Almeida, S., Anderson, L., Brando, P., Chambers, J.Q., da Costa, A.C.L., Hutyra, L.R., Oliveira, P., Patino, S., Pyle, E.H., Robertson, A.L. and Teixeira, L.M. (2009) Comprehensive assessment of carbon productivity, allocation and storage in three Amazonian forests. Global Change Biology, 15(5): 1255-1274.
  • 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.
  • Metcalfe, D.B., Meir, P., Aragao, L.E.O.C., da Costa, A.C.L., Braga, A.P., Goncalves, P.H.L., Silva, J.D., de Almeida, S.S., Dawson, L.A., Malhi, Y. and Williams, M. (2009) The effects of water availability on root growth and morphology in an Amazon rainforest. Plant and Soil, 311(1-2): 189-199.
  • Patiño, S., Lloyd, J., Paiva, R., Baker, T.R., Quesada, C.A., Mercado, L.M., Schmerler, J., Schwarz, M., Santos, A.J.B., Aguilar, A., Czimczik, C.I., Gallo, J., Horna, V., Hoyos, E.J., Jimenez, E.M., Palomino, W., Peacock, J., Pena-Cruz, A., Sarmiento, C., Sota, A., Turriago, J.D., Villanueva, B., Vitzthum, P., Alvarez, E., Arroyo, L., Baraloto, C., Bonal, D., Chave, J., Costa, A.C.L., Herrera, R., Higuchi, N., Killeen, T., Leal, E., Luizao, F., Meir, P., Monteagudo, A., Neil, D., Nunez-Vargas, P., Penuela, M.C., Pitman, N., Priante, N., Prieto, A., Panfil, S.N., Rudas, A., Salomao, R., Silva, N., Silveira, M., de Almeida, S.S., Torres-Lezama, A., Vasquez-Martinez, R., Vieira, I., Malhi, Y. and Phillips, O.L. (2009) Branch xylem density variations across the Amazon Basin. Biogeosciences, 6: 545-568.
  • Phillips, O.L., Aragao, L., Lewis, S.L., Fisher, J.B., Lloyd, J., López-González, G., Malhi, Y., Monteagudo, A., Peacock, J., Quesada, C.A., van der Heijden, G., Almeida, S., Amaral, I., Arroyo, L., Aymard, G., Baker, T.R., Bánki, O., Blanc, L., Bonal, D., Brando, P., Chave, J., Alves de Oliveira, A.C., Dávila Cardozo, N., Czimczik, C.I., Feldpausch, T.R., Freitas, M.A., Gloor, E., Higuchi, N., Jiménez, E., Lloyd, G., Meir, P., Mendoza, C., Morel, A., Neill, D.A., Nepstad, D., Patiño, S., Peñuela, M.C., Prieto, A., Ramírez, F., Schwarz, M., Silva, J., Silveira, M., Thomas, A.S., ter Steege, H., Stropp, J., Vásquez, R., Zelazowski, P., Dávila, E.A., Andelman, S., Andrade, A., Chao, K-J., Erwin, T., Di Fiore, A., Honorio, C.E., Keeling, H., Killeen, T.J., Laurance, W.F., Cruz, A.P., Pitman, N.C.A., Núñez Vargas, P., Ramírez-Angulo, H., Rudas, A., Salamão, R., Silva, N., Terborgh, J. and Torres-Lezama, A. (2009) Drought sensitivity of the Amazon rainforest. Science, 323(5919 ): 1344-1347.
  • Vinya, R., Malhi, Y. and Brown, N. (2009) Xylem vulnerability to cavitation for ten miombo canopy tree species with varying habitat preference. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 153(2, Supplem): 213.
  • Zimmermann, M., Meir, P., Bird, M.I., Malhi, Y. and Ccahuana, A.J.Q. (2009) Climate dependence of heterotrophic soil respiration from a soil-translocation experiment along a 3000m tropical forest altitudinal gradient. European Journal of Soil Science, 60(6): 895-906.
  • Zimmermann, M., Meir, P., Bird, M.I., Malhi, Y. and Ccahuana, A.J.Q. (2009) Litter contribution to diurnal and annual soil respiration in a tropical montane cloud forest. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 41(6): 1338-1340.


  • Aragao, L.E.O.C., Malhi, Y., Barbier, N., Lima, A., Shimabukuro, Y., Anderson, L. and Saatchi, S. (2008) Interactions between rainfall, deforestation and fires during recent years in the Brazilian Amazonia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1498): 1779-1786.
  • Betts, R.A., Malhi, Y. and Roberts, J.T. (2008) The future of the Amazon: new perspectives from climate, ecosystem and social sciences. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1498): 1729-1735.
  • Butt, N., Malhi, Y., Phillips, O.L. and New, M. (2008) Floristic and functional affiliations of woody plants with climate in western Amazonia. Journal of Biogeography, 35(5): 939-950.
  • Huntingford, C., Fisher, R.A., Mercado, L., Booth, B.B.B., Sitch, S., Harris, P.P., Cox, P.M., Jones, C.D., Betts, R.A. and Malhi, Y. (2008) Towards quantifying uncertainty in predictions of Amazon dieback. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1498): 1857-1864.
  • Malhi, Y. and Roman Cuesta, R.M. (2008) Analysis of lacunarity and scales of spatial homogeneity in IKONOS images of Amazonian tropical forest canopies. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112(5): 2074-2087.
  • Malhi, Y., Roberts, J.T. and Betts, R.A. (2008) Climate change and the fate of the Amazon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B: Biological Sciences, 363(1498): 1727-1932. Thematic Issue.
  • Malhi, Y., Roberts, J.T., Betts, R.A., Killeen, T.J., Li, W. and Nobre, C.A. (2008) Climate change, deforestation and the fate of the Amazon. Science, 319(5860): 169-172.
  • 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.
  • Metcalfe, D., Meir, P., Aragao, L.E.O.C., Da Costa, A., Almeida, S., Braga, A., Goncalves, P., Athaydes, J., Malhi, Y. and Williams, M. (2008) Sample sizes for estimating key ecosystem characteristics in a tropical terra firme rainforest. Forest Ecology and Management, 255(3-4): 558-566.


  • Aragao, L., Malhi, Y., Roman Cuesta, R.M., Saatchi, S., Anderson, L.O. and Shimabukuro, Y.E. (2007) Spatial patterns and fire response of recent Amazonian droughts. Geophysical Research Letters, 34(5).
  • Fisher, R.A., Williams, M., da Costa, A., Malhi, Y., Da Costa, R.F., Almeida, S. and Meir, P. (2007) The response of an Eastern Amazonian rain forest to drought stress: results and modelling analyses from a throughfall exclusion experiment. Global Change Biology, 13(11): 2361-2378.
  • Luyssaert, S., Inglima, I., Jung, M., Richardson, A.D., Reichstein, M., Papale, D., Piao, S.L., Shulze, E.D., Wingate, L., Matteucci, G. and Malhi, Y. (2007) CO2 balance of boreal, temperate and tropical forests derived from a global database. Global Change Biology, 13(12): 2509-2537.
  • Malhi, Y. (2007) Carbon in the Atmosphere and Terrestrial Biosphere in the Early Anthropocene. Advances in earth science: from earthquakes to global warming, 2.
  • Metcalfe, D.B., Meir, P., Aragao, L.E.O.C., Malhi, Y., da Costa, A.C.L., Braga, A., Goncalves, P.H.L., de Athaydes, J., de Almeida, S.S. and Williams, M. (2007) Factors controlling spatio-temporal variation in carbon dioxide efflux from surface litter, roots and soil organic matter at four rain forest sites in the eastern Amazon. . pp. 9.
  • Metcalfe, D.B., Williams, M., Aragao, L., Da Costa, A.C.L., De Almeida, S.S., Braga, A.P., Goncalves, P.H.L., De Athaydes, J., Junior, S. and Malhi, Y. (2007) A method for extracting plant roots from soil which facilitates rapid sample processing without compromising measurement accuracy. New Phytologist, 174(3): 697-703.
  • Parmentier, I., Malhi, Y., Senterre, B., Whittaker, R.J., Alonso, A., Balinga, M.P.B., Bakayoko, A., Bongers, F., Chatelain, C. and Comiskey, J.A. (2007) The odd man out? Might climate explain the lower tree $alpha$-diversity of African rain forests relative to Amazonian rain forests? Journal of Ecology, 95(5): 1058-1071.


  • Iwata, H., Malhi, Y. and von Randow, C. (2005) Gap-filling measurements of carbon dioxide storage in tropical rainforest canopy airspace. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 132(3): 305-314.
  • Pegoraro, E., Rey, A., Barron-Gafford, G., Monson, R., Malhi, Y. and Murthy, R. (2005) The interacting effects of elevated atmospheric CO 2 concentration, drought and leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficit on ecosystem isoprene fluxes. Oecologia, 146(1): 120-129.