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

Dr Jesus Aguirre GutierrezDr Jesus Aguirre GutierrezNERC Research Fellow
 Jane Applegarth Jane ApplegarthAdministrative Assistant to the Ecosystems Programme and Deputy Director of ECI / Co-ordinator for Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests
Dr Szilvia BajkanDr Szilvia BajkanField and Data Technician
Dr Pam BerryDr Pam BerrySenior Research Fellow and Geography Fellow (Mansfield College)
Dr Sallie BurroughDr Sallie BurroughTrapnell Research Fellow in African Environments
Dr Cecilia Chavana-BryantDr Cecilia Chavana-BryantResearcher in Tropical Ecology and Remote Sensing
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 McDermottAssociate Professor and Jackson 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 Alexander ShenkinDr Alexander ShenkinPost Doctoral Researcher
 Alison Smith Alison SmithResearcher
Dr Bettina WittnebenDr Bettina WittnebenMSc Teaching Associate

Doctoral research

Changsoon Choi

Climate-smart green infrastructure

Supervisors: Dr Pam Berry; Alison Smith

Trisha Gopalakrishna

Trade-offs between carbon, biodiversity and water on restoration of Indian tropical forests

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

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

Laura Picot

Food crops and the role of farmers' gender and intersectional identities in shaping climate resilience in Ghana

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Constance McDermott

Huanyuan Zhang

Calculate tropical NPP by upscaling empirical findings from plot-level forest inventory to a larger scale

Supervisors: Prof. Yadvinder Malhi; Dr Imma Oliveras; Professor Iain Colin Prentice (Imperial College London)