Dr Juliano Sarmento Cabral Dr. rer. nat.

Dr Juliano Sarmento Cabral

School of Biosciences
Associate Professor for Biodiversity Modelling and Environmental Change

Contact details

N107, School of Biosciences

Dr. Juliano Sarmento Cabral is one of the world’s experts in mechanistic modelling of eco-evolutionary biodiversity dynamics. He and his team have developed several mechanistic and process-based models for plant and animal populations, communities, and species ranges to demonstrate, for example, how ecological and genetic traits are both under selection under environmental change and how multiple environmental change drivers can have complex synergetic effects on plant biodiversity.


2001-2005: BSc in Biological Sciences at Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (UFRPE, Recife, Brazil)

2004: Exchange Semester at Iowa State University (ISU, Ames, USA)

2006-2010: PhD in Ecology at University of Potsdam (Potsdam, Germany)


Dr. Juliano Sarmento Cabral did his undergraduate studies in biological sciences at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, with an exchange semester at Iowa State University, where he worked with invasive species. His bachelor thesis assessed edge effects on orchid and bromeliad epiphytes. He completed his PhD at University of Potsdam on the range dynamics of Proteaceae species of the Cape Region of South Africa under current conditions and under habitat loss and climate change scenarios in collaboration with the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), Cape Town, South Africa. He subsequently worked from 2010 to 2016 as postdoc at the University of Goettingen and on the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research on island biogeography as well as on 3D forest and epiphyte spatiotemporal dynamics in collaboration with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), Panama City, Panama. Thereafter up to 2022 he worked as junior professor in Ecosystem Modelling at the University of Wuerzburg focusing on a range of projects from genomically-explicit eco-evolutionary feedbacks at local to biogeographical scales for plants and birds to drought tolerance of temperate tree species and range dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic plants as well terrestrial animals via German national and international collaborations.

Postgraduate supervision

Potential students to postgraduate supervision should be interested in one or more points:

  • Eco-evolutionary and biogeographical topics (e.g. evolutionary rescue, diversity gradients)
  • Environmental change and human impacts (e.g. habitat conversion, climate change, exploitation)
  • Computational work and mechanistic modelling (e.g. programming languages like R and Julia; agent-based models)
  • Tropical and species-rich systems
  • Range dynamics of plant and animal species


The key interests of Dr. Sarmento Cabral are the mechanisms underlying biodiversity patterns and dynamics across spatiotemporal scales. His works focus on population and community dynamics, species distributions and range dynamics, biodiversity gradients in static and dynamics environments, eco-evolutionary feedbacks, biogeography and the impacts of human activities and human-induced environmental change on biodiversity.

Other activities

Guest Private Docent (PD) at the Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology (CCTB), University of Wuerzburg, Germany

Associate Editor at Diversity & Distributions

Reviewer for over 30 international journals from various fields (e.g. botany, ecology, evolution, biogeography, computational biology, multidisciplinary) and funding agencies (e.g. DFG, NERC, Leverhulme, Humboldt)


Recent publications


Dorji, Y, Isasa, E, Pierick, K, Cabral, JS, Tobgay, T, Annighöfer, P, Schuldt, B & Seidel, D 2024, 'Insights into the relationship between hydraulic safety, hydraulic efficiency and tree structural complexity from terrestrial laser scanning and fractal analysis', Trees. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00468-023-02479-1

Kéfi, S, Génin, A, Garcia-Mayor, A, Guirado, E, Cabral, J, Berdugo, M, Guerber, J, Solé, R & Maestre, FT 2024, 'Self-organization as a mechanism of resilience in dryland ecosystems', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 121, no. 6, e2305153121. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2305153121

Isasa, E, Link, RM, Jansen, S, Tezeh, FR, Kaack, L, Cabral, J & Schuldt, B 2023, 'Addressing controversies in the xylem embolism resistance–vessel diameter relationship', The New phytologist, vol. 238, no. 1, pp. 283-296. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18731

Paligi, SS, Link, RM, Isasa, E, Bittencourt, P, Cabral, JS, Jansen, S, Oliveira, RS, Pereira, L & Schuldt, B 2023, 'Assessing the agreement between the pneumatic and the flow‐centrifuge method for estimating xylem safety in temperate diffuse‐porous tree species', Plant Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/plb.13573

Lewerentz, A, Hoffmann, M, Hovestadt, T, Raeder, U & Sarmento Cabral, J 2023, 'Synergistic effects between global warming and water quality change on modelled macrophyte species richness', Oikos. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.09803

Cabral, JS, Mendoza‐Ponce, A, da Silva, AP, Oberpriller, J, Mimet, A, Kieslinger, J, Berger, T, Blechschmidt, J, Brönner, M, Classen, A, Fallert, S, Hartig, F, Hof, C, Hoffmann, M, Knoke, T, Krause, A, Lewerentz, A, Pohle, P, Raeder, U, Rammig, A, Redlich, S, Rubanschi, S, Stetter, C, Weisser, W, Vedder, D, Verburg, PH & Zurell, D 2023, 'The road to integrate climate change projections with regional land‐use–biodiversity models', People and Nature. https://doi.org/10.1002/pan3.10472

Figueiredo, L, Scherer, C & Cabral, JS 2022, 'A simple kit to use computational notebooks for more openness, reproducibility, and productivity in research', PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 18, no. 9, e1010356. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010356

Moraes, AP, Engel, TBJ, Forni-Martins, ER, De Barros, F, Felix, LP & Cabral, JS 2022, 'Are chromosome number and genome size associated with habit and environmental niche variables? Insights from the Neotropical orchids', Annals of Botany, vol. 130, no. 1, pp. 11-25. https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcac021

Vedder, D, Lens, L, Martin, CA, Pellikka, P, Adhikari, H, Heiskanen, J, Engler, JO & Sarmento Cabral, J 2022, 'Hybridization may aid evolutionary rescue of an endangered East African passerine', Evolutionary Applications, vol. 15, no. 7, pp. 1177-1188. https://doi.org/10.1111/eva.13440

Reyes-García, C, Zaldívar, NAP, Espadas-Manrique, C, Chim, MDJT, Chilpa-Galván, N, Cach-Pérez, MJ, Ramírez-Medina, M, Duque, AMB, Hietz, P, Zotz, G, JOSE, LUISANDRADE, Cardelús, C, Oliveira, RDP, Einzmann, H, Jacob, VG, Krömer, T, Pinzón, JP, Cabral, JS, Wanek, W & Woods, C 2022, 'New Proposal of Epiphytic Bromeliaceae Functional Groups to Include Nebulophytes and Shallow Tanks', Plants, vol. 11, no. 22, 3151. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants11223151

Conference contribution

Lewerentz, A, Manke, N, Schantz, D, Cabral, JS & Mammen, SV 2023, Integrating Julia Code into the Unity Game Engine to Dive into Aquatic Plant Growth. in N Pelechano, F Liarokapis, D Rohmer & A Asadipour (eds), International Conference on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies (IMET). The Eurographics Association, pp. 97-100, 3rd International Conference on Interactive Media, Smart Systems and Emerging Technologies (IMET 2023), Barcelona, Spain, 5/10/23. https://doi.org/10.2312/IMET.20231263

Buhl, T, Marcomin, D, Fallert, S, Blechschmidt, J, Bönisch, F, Mark, R, Cabral, J & von Mammen, S 2023, User-Centered Engineering of an Interactive Land Use Exploration Tool. in S Dutta, K Feige, K Rink & D Zeckzer (eds), Workshop on Visualisation in Environmental Sciences (EnvirVis). EnvirVis: Workshop on Visualisation in Environmental Sciences, The Eurographics Association, pp. 77-84, Workshop on Visualisation in Environmental Sciences (EnvirVis) 2023, Leipzig, Germany, 12/06/23. https://doi.org/10.2312/envirvis.20231109


Fallert, S, Li, L & Cabral, JS 2024 'metaRange: A framework to build mechanistic range models' bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2024.03.07.583922

Dorji, Y, Isasa, E, Cabral, J, Tobgay, T, Annighöfer, P, Schuldt, B & Seidel, D 2023 'Insights into the relationship between hydraulic safety, hydraulic efficiency and tree structural complexity from terrestrial laser scanning and fractal analysis' Research Square. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-2744981/v1

Lewerentz, A, Hoffmann, M, Hovestadt, T, Raeder, U & Cabral, JS 2022 'Potential change in the future spatial distribution of submerged macrophyte species and species richness: the role of today's lake type and strength of compounded environmental change       ' Authorea. https://doi.org/10.22541/au.165401091.12520929/v1

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