Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

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 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

 Jane Applegarth Jane ApplegarthAdministrative Assistant to the Ecosystems Programme and Deputy Director of ECI / Co-ordinator for Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests
Dr Pam BerryDr Pam BerrySenior Research Fellow and Geography Fellow (Mansfield College)
 Marc Brouard Marc BrouardPostdoctoral Research Assistant
Dr Sallie BurroughDr Sallie BurroughTrapnell Research Fellow in African Environments
Dr Robert DunfordDr Robert DunfordCollege Lecturer
Dr Cécile GirardinDr Cécile GirardinPost Doctoral Researcher and James Martin Fellow
Dr Mark HironsDr Mark HironsDepartmental Lecturer and Director of the MSc/MPhil in Environmental Change and Management
Dr Curt LamberthDr Curt LamberthResearch Technician
Professor Yadvinder MalhiProfessor Yadvinder MalhiLeader, Ecosystems Research Programme
Professor of Ecosystem Science
Dr Constance McDermottDr Constance McDermottJackson Senior Research Fellow in Land Use and Environmental Change
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
Dr Terhi RiuttaDr Terhi RiuttaPost Doctoral Researcher in Ecosystems
Dr Alexander ShenkinDr Alexander ShenkinPost Doctoral Researcher
 Alison Smith Alison SmithResearcher
 Charles Tebbutt Charles TebbuttTechnician in Fire Management in Post-Conflict Columbia
Dr Bettina WittnebenDr Bettina WittnebenMSc Teaching Associate

Doctoral research

Changsoon Choi

Climate-smart green infrastructure

Supervisors: Dr Pam Berry; Alison Smith

Carolina Gueiros

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

Supervisors: Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Constance McDermott

Logan Hamilton

Transfer of Status: Political Decentralisation as a Driver of Change in Indonesian Village Level Forest Governance

Supervisors: Dr Tom Thornton; Dr Constance McDermott

Victoria Maguire-Rajpaul

Understanding West African cocoa smallholders' adaption to drought: assessing interactions between institutions, poverty and resilience

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Constance McDermott; Dr Mark Hirons

Nadezhda Mamontova

Spatial Knowledge, Language, and Adaptation to the Landscape among the Ewenki of Central and Northeastern Siberia

Supervisor: Dr Tom Thornton

Laura Picot

Gender dynamics and land use change amongst smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Constance McDermott

Joseph Poore

The extent of abandoned agricultural land and its conservation potential

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Richard Grenyer; EJ Milner-Gulland (Zoology)

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