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May 2023


Last week Yadvinder and Nikki travelled to Kenya to collaborate with a local NGO, Natural State who focuses on large-scale restoration and rewilding.

As part of their work, they established some Global Ecosystems Monitoring (GEM) plots. Here is a video of the official inauguration of the first Leverhulme Centre for Nature Recovery’s GEM plot in Kenya.


April 2023

Many congratulations to Huan Yuan and Ache for submitting their DPhil thesis today.
Huan Yuan's investigated the productivity and carbon allocation in West African forests and Ache, the ecology and physiology of plant systems' adaptations in modified ecosystems.
Another two thesis nurtured through the multiple challenges of the pandemic.
Well done Huan Yuan and Ache!!


March 2023

Many congratulations to Tina and Trisha for submitting their thesis to the Exam School Office!

Despite the all the hurdles that the pandemic t
hrew both ladies managed to complete their DPhil projects!

Tina worked on revisiting the science and practice of ecosystem restoration in tropical mountains and Trisha on the complexities of forest restoration in India.

Well done both!!!


February 2023

The white gold of the tropics

In November 2022, a joint team from Oxford, Lancaster and Exeter University travelled to the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean to study the value of seabird guano to island ecosystem. Seabird excrement, or guano, fertilizes tropical island ecosystems. Guano-rich soils can boost vegetation growth and support a unique assemblage of nutrient-loving plant species. In the ocean, seabird guano increases phytoplankton at the bottom of the food web and enhances fish and coral growth. Unlike agricultural fertilizer, guano contains a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and other trace elements important for growth. However, invasive black rats (Rattus rattus) can devastate seabird colonies, preying on seabird chicks and eggs and creating silent, nutrient-poor landscapes and seascapes.
By comparing islands in the Seychelles that have never had rats, islands that currently have rats, and islands that have eradicated rats, the team aims to quantify the benefit of seabird guano to ecosystem services and the reduction of this ‘white gold’ caused by rats.

The team are funded by the Bertarelli Foundation and are working with local partner organisations in the Seychelles, as well in the Chagos Islands (Indian Ocean) and French Polynesia (Pacific Ocean) to collect field data. The results of this project will help inform and support local conservation management plans.

February 2023

Should we put a price on nature?

t's estimated that 25% of plant and animal species are at risk of extinction. Would putting a price on nature help protect biodiversity?

Made by Angel Sharp Media, 1 December 2022

February 2023

Ash: A silent extinction in the woods.

What do you do when the nature that surrounds you is inevitably, and slowly, dying? If you’re a researcher at Wytham Woods, you respond with devastation and practicality in equal measure. A ‘silent pandemic’, as described by Professor Yadvinder Malhi, ash dieback (hymenoscyphus fraxineus) has infected canopies of ash trees, not only in Wytham Woods, but across Western Europe since 2012. Cecilia Dahlsjö’s research is facing the loss head on – by running experiments which ask what the impact of this could look like in the immediate future, and the next decade and beyond. The dappled light and the soft leaves of these gentle giants are still savoured by the team at Wytham, even while science acknowledges their fate. Video made by Angel Sharp Media More from the Laboratory with Leaves video series:

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