School of GeoSciences Research

Ecosystem science and organismal ecology

Our group studies plant ecology, biogeography and ecosystem science from the tropics to the poles trying to understand ecosystem dynamics in a changing world.

Current projects

 SECO: Resolving the current and future carbon dynamics of the dry tropics

The SECO project is the first large scale attempt to quantify the vegetation and land-use carbon fluxes of the dry tropics by combining field data from long term plots, remote sensing and modelling. The 5-year project is a collaboration between 45 partners who will work to understand the extent to which the world’s savannas and dry forests act as a carbon sink, mitigating climate change, and the causes of this sink. The answers are important for both climate change mitigation and for an improved understanding of how these ecosystems are responding to global change.

Visit the SECO website

Further examples of collaborative research include:

The CRYPTOCOVER project: Biocomplexity and functioning of the cryptogamic cover in arid and polar regions

Investigating team: Dr Claudia Colesie; with Universidad Complutense, Spain

Watch Dr Claudia Colesie and fellow researchers as they travel to Antarctica for the 'Cryptocover' project. The project investigated biocomplexity and functioning of the cryptogamic cover in arid and polar regions. It was funded by the Spanish Research Council and the Spanish Antarctic research committee and coordinated by Professor Leopoldo Sancho, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. 

Resilience in Antarctic biota and ecosystems

Investigating team: Dr Claudia Colesie; with the University of Waikato, New Zealand

Plant nutrition as Earth system science: Understanding the links between plant nutrient gain and soil carbon storage

Principal Investigator: Mathew Williams and (Co-investigator) Dr Lorna Street

More information on this project award can be found on *ERE

Will more productive Arctic ecosystems sequester less soil carbon? A key role for priming in the rhizosphere ('PRIME-TIME')

Investigating team: University of Stirling, UK;  with Dr Lorna Street

Our researchers in ecosystem science and organismal ecology are:

  • Dr Claudia Colesie
  • Dr Kyle Dexter
  • Dr Gail Jackson
  • Dr Caroline Lehmann 
  • Dr Isla Myers-Smith
  • Dr Lorna Street 


* Edinburgh Research Explorer (ERE) is the University's research information system and is managed by Library and University Collections.