Tropical forests are important reservoirs of global biodiversity and fixed carbon. Research in my group investigates the processes that maintain diversity in tropical forests and the mechanisms that control the distribution of tropical tree species and communities. We focus on application of these principles to tropical forest conservation.
Specific research topics include:
1. Comparative germination ecology
2. Plant responses to resource heterogeneity
3. Role of disturbance in structuring tropical forest communities
4. Analysis of spatial patterns in tropical tree distribution and their implications
5. Restoration of degraded tropical lands.
2013-present: Personal Chair, Forest Ecology and Diversity, University of Aberdeen
1995-2013: Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, University of Aberdeen
1994-1995: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Plant Sciences, Oxford University
1989-1993: PhD, Tropical Forest Ecology, Cambridge University
Active research projects:
Natural Environment Research Council (2015 – 2017)
Explaining niche separation in tropical forests: feedbacks from root fungal symbioses and soil phosphorus partitioning
Swiss National Science Foundation – International Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014-2016)
Investigating the effects of local densities for improved management of genetic resources in critically endangered Dipterocarpaceae
European Commission – Marie Curie Intra – European Fellowship (2014-2016)
Spatial dynamics of tropical forest biomass change
Natural Environment Research Council (2013-2018)
Biodiversity and land-use impacts on tropical ecosystem function (BALI)
Scottish Natural Heritage (2012-2015)
Species, habitat and service restoration after Rhododendron control.
HSBC PLC (2009-2019)
Forest ecosystem monitoring in Sabah
Pontara, V., Bueno, ML., Garcia, LE., Oliveira-Filho, AT., Pennington, TR., Burslem, DFRP. and Lemos-Filho, JP., (2016). ‘Fine-scale variation in topography and seasonality determine radial growth of an endangered tree in Brazilian Atlantic forest’. Plant and Soil, pp.1-14.
Anderson-Teixeira, KJ.et al. (2015). ‘CTFS-ForestGEO: a worldwide network monitoring forests in an era of global change’. Global Change Biology, vol 21, no. 2, pp. 528-549.
Metali, F., Abu Salim, K., Tennakoon, K. & Burslem, DFRP. (2015). ‘Controls on foliar nutrient and aluminium concentrations in a tropical tree flora: phylogeny, soil chemistry and interactions among elements’. New Phytologist, vol 205, no. 1, pp. 280-292.
O’Brien, MJ., Burslem, DFRP., Caduff, A., Tay, J. & Hector, A. (2015). ‘Contrasting nonstructural carbohydrate dynamics of tropical tree seedlings under water deficit and variability’. New Phytologist, vol 205, no. 3, pp. 1083-1094.
Smith, JR., Bagchi, R., Ellens, J., Kettle, CJ., Burslem, DFRP., Maycock, CR., Khoo, E. & Ghazoul, J. (2015). ‘Predicting dispersal of auto-gyrating fruit in tropical trees: a case study from the Dipterocarpaceae’. Ecology and Evolution, vol 5, no. 9, pp. 1794-1801.