Senior Lecturer; Research Associate
University of Edinburgh; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
My current appointments are as a Senior Lecturer in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh and as a Research Associate at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. My Ph.D. research at Duke University (USA) was carried out in Amazonian Peru, under the guidance of Cliff Cunningham and John Terborgh, and used population genetic approaches to test ecological neutral theory and study the role of dispersal in the assembly of tropical tree communities. I then moved to Université Paul Sabatier in France for a 2-yr CNRS postdoc fellowship under the guidance of Jérôme Chave, with fieldwork in French Guiana and Guyana. It was there that I began integrating phylogenies into my ecological research and to expand my interests out of the Amazon into drier biomes. From France, I went to Edinburgh, funded by a US NSF International Fellowship to work with Toby Pennington at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Oliver Phillips at the University fo Leeds. This fellowship allowed me to conduct extensive fieldwork in dry forests and savannas of South America and to gain deeper cross-biome expertise. I began working at the University of Edinburgh in 2013. I am currently growing my research in Africa, to complement my deep expertise in South America, in order to gain a cross-continental and cross-biome perspective on tropical vegetation. I am interested in understanding how lineages have evolved and expanded within and across biomes on different continents and how this may lead to continent-specific contingencies in biome distributions and how they function.