" The future of tropical ecosystems – new insights and innovative methods "



Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia


Dolors Armenteras is Professor of Landscape Ecology and Ecosystem Science at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota. She focuses her research on sustainability and biodiversity conservation of tropical forests. Her research in fire ecology, spatial analysis and modelling at landscape has helped understand ecological processes across multiple organizational levels in Latin America. Her experience encompasses both fauna and flora, and includes ecosystem structure, spatial modelling, and landscape processes such as deforestation and degradation but also policy options. She has over two decades of experience in the science policy interface needed to advance towards the sustainability of the planet. She also has a major interest in raising awareness of geographical biases and power inequities in science. She was a Fulbright Regional Network for Applied Research (NEXUS) Climate Change and Biodiversity Scholar between 2014 and 2017. She is an expert in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services-IPBES. Currently also serves as Vice-President International Association of Landscape Ecology IALE and is an active member of the Scientific Panel for the Amazon.


University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Erika Berenguer is a Senior Research Associate at the Ecosystems Lab in the University of Oxford and a Visiting Research Associate at Lancaster University. She works in several Brazil-UK consortiums looking at the impacts of human-induced disturbance, such as selective logging and understory fires, in ecosystems functions and processes in the Amazon.
Dr Berenguer co-leads Working Group7 on the Scientific Panel for the Amazon, focusing on the impacts of deforestation and the degradation of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Her interests lie in developing a better understanding of how human-modified tropical forests function, assessing the resilience of these forests in the face of climate change. In addition, she is passionate about finding ways of effectively communicating scientific results to relevant stakeholders and policy makers.


German centre for integrative biodiversity research (idiv) halle-jena-leipzig, Leipzig, Germany


In June 2018, Renske Onstein became junior research group leader in Evolution & Adaptation at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig. She obtained her PhD at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 2015. Her research focuses on the evolution and diversification of flowering plants in biodiversity hotspots. In her work she often combines evolutionary data, such as genetics or phylogenetics, with ecological information, such as functional traits or plant-animal interactions. Currently, her group investigates the effects of megafaunal animal extinctions, such as giant lemurs, elephant birds and gomphothers, on genetic connectivity, diversification and adaptation of megafaunal-fruited plants on Madagascar and in the Neotropics.


Departamento de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil


Beatrice Padovani-Ferreira

Beatrice is a Marine Biologist and a Professor at the Federal University of Pernambuco. She has worked on coral reef ecology, small scale fisheries and MPA planning.  Has acted as a member of the  IUCN red list specialist on reef fish groups, participated on several  CDB ad hoc groups and was involved on the UN World Ocean Assessment, acting as a member of the Group of Experts.  Presently she is the PI of the ILTER site Peld Tams, a long term ecological program that investigate space and temporal changes on a tropical marine seascape. She is a diver and a reef check Brazil volunteer, and contributed with the last GCRMN report.

Dr Plinio SIST

Director of Forests and Societies Research Unit at Cirad, Montpellier, France


Dr. Plinio Sist is the director of the Research Unit Forests and Societies at Cirad gathering 45 researchers and 30 master and PhD students. He is also the coordinator of the unit “Tropical and subtropical silviculture” of Division 1 at IUFRO. He is a tropical forest ecologist with more than 25 year experience in South America (Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Costa-Rica) and South East Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia). He obtained a PhD in 1989 in tropical Biology of the University of Paris 6. He introduced and tested Reduced-Impact Logging in Indonesia in the early 90’s in East Kalimantan. His main interest is to understand the impact of forest ressource harvesting on the ecology of tropical forests in order to recommend sustainable forest management practices. He has more than 150 publications and conference presentations on this issue.


Ghent University, Belgium


Hans Verbeeck  is a research professor at Ghent University (Belgium). He is leading the research group CAVElab (Computational and Applied Vegetation Ecology; www.cavelab.ugent.be), studying vegetation dynamics and biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. He has a broad interest in all types of terrestrial ecosystems, with a strong focus on the ecology of tropical forests. Process-based vegetation modelling is his core research tool, but the questions arising from the modelling work require dedicated field work activities. These field work activities are focused on improving uncertain process descriptions within vegetation models and on data-poor regions like the Congo Basin. Since he received an ERC starting grant for the project TREECLIMBERS, he developed multiple research activities on the role of lianas in the climate response of tropical forests.