Current Research lines

Forest die-off
Mediterranean forests have been suffering drought-induced tree defoliation and mortality (forest die-off) over the past two decades and the problem is likely to be exacerbated in coming decades, as extreme droughts are projected to become more frequent and intense. In 2013, I started to work on this issue at MNCN-CSIC in Madrid (Spain), and now I continue to do it at CFE in Coimbra (Portugal). I aim to understand how die-off affects plant-soil-microbe relationships, and ecosystem functioning to ultimately help to prevent and correct the problem.
Cerrado functionality


The Brazilian Cerrado is a key but understudied biome with global relevance in terms of biodiversity and C cycle. In collaboration with colleagues from the Laboratoy of Ecology and Evolution of Plants (LEEP) at the University of Viçosa (Brasil) and CFE, we are carrying out a multidisciplinary study to understand the functioning, controls, and response to realistic climate change scenarios (through a rainfall exclusion) of ecosystem processes related to C and N cycling in this Brazilian savanna. This study is supported by the National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) through the project CONCERN.  

Drylands and Climate Change
Drylands occupy more than 40% of the terrestrial surface, and host over 38% of the global population, which makes them crucial for achieving global sustainability and the well-being of human populations. It is therefore crucial to improve our knowledge on how climate change will influence these systems, and specifically their ability to dampen or amplify climate change trough changes in the soil-atmosphere greenhouse gasses exchange. Dr. Jorge Durán (researcher at CFE) and I pretend to do that with our recent FCT-funded project UNDERCLIME.
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