Dr Adriane Esquivel Muelbert PhD

Dr Adriane Esquivel Muelbert

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lecturer in Global Forest Ecology

Contact details

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Adriane Esquivel Muelbert investigates how forests respond to different global change forces and what the implications of these responses are on biodiversity and global biogeochemical cycles. Her work demonstrates the importance of drought tolerance in shaping diversity and composition across Neotropical tree communities and provides evidence that Amazonian forests are changing as a result of the increase in water stress and atmospheric CO2. More recently, she has focused on tree mortality and how tree death varies across large geographical scales.


  • PhD in Ecology and Global Change - University of Leeds, UK (2017)
  • MSc (Hons) in Ecology – Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (2012)
  • BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences - Federal University of Paraná, Brazil (2010)


Dr Esquivel-Muelbert received her PhD degree from the University of Leeds where she studied the effects of global change on the functional and floristic dynamics of Amazonian forests over the last 30 years. 

Prior her PhD, Dr Esquivel-Muelbert studied the Functional Ecology of the Atlantic Forest in Southern Brazil, where she grew up. Passionate about tropical forests and their complexity and Dr Esquivel-Muelbert loves being in the field, immersed in the understory. During her trajectory she has conducted field work across the Neotropics, including Southern Brazil, Central Amazon and Central America.

Postgraduate supervision

Jordan Johnston. Forest resilience and recovery through the lens of volcanic disturbances. Co-supervisor, PhD.

Lavinia Georgescu. Assessing drought-induced mortality across global forests. Co-supervisor, PhD.

Kauane Maiara Bordin.Drivers of tree demography in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Co-supervisor, PhD. (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)

Nayara Cardoso Barros. Impacts of fire and logging on forest dynamics in the Amazon-Cerrado transition. Co-supervisor, MSc (State University of Mato Grosso, UNEMAT, Brazil). 

I welcome motivated UK-based and international postgraduate students interested in Ecology. Feel free to contact me if you have your own ideas or if you are interested in the two exciting self-funding projects currently open: 

Forest diversity, dynamics and resilience in a changing world

Impact of CO2 rise on root, leaf and wood production: the future of tree C allocation 

Prospective students should also follow the link for available studentships within the Doctoral Training Centers of the school. 

I also welcome visiting PhD students from overseas and post doctorate researchers willing to write their independent projects for calls such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie and the Newton International fellowships.


Global Change Ecology, Forest Dynamics, Tropical Ecology, Amazon Forest, Plant Ecology, Droughts, Biogeography, Functional Ecology

Other activities

2021 – present. External lecturer at the Ecology and Conservation postgraduate program of the State University of Mato Grosso. 

2020 – present. Member of the organizing committee of the International Tree Mortality Network. A network to understand the causes of tree mortality 

2012 – present. Member of the RAINFOR network

2020 – 2021. Invited member. Working Group 8: Climate change in the Amazon: Tendencies, Impacts and Ecological. Science Panel for the Amazon.


Recent publications


Tavares, JV, Oliveira, RS, Mencuccini, M, Signori-Müller, C, Pereira, L, Diniz, FC, Gilpin, M, Marca Zevallos, MJ, Salas Yupayccana, CA, Acosta, M, Pérez Mullisaca, FM, Barros, FDV, Bittencourt, P, Jancoski, H, Scalon, MC, Marimon, BS, Oliveras Menor, I, Marimon, BH, Fancourt, M, Chambers-Ostler, A, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Rowland, L, Meir, P, Lola da Costa, AC, Nina, A, Sanchez, JMB, Tintaya, JS, Chino, RSC, Baca, J, Fernandes, L, Cumapa, ERM, Santos, JAR, Teixeira, R, Tello, L, Ugarteche, MTM, Cuellar, GA, Martinez, F, Araujo-Murakami, A, Almeida, E, da Cruz, WJA, del Aguila Pasquel, J, Aragāo, L, Baker, TR, de Camargo, PB, Brienen, R, Castro, W, Ribeiro, SC, Coelho de Souza, F, Cosio, EG, Davila Cardozo, N, da Costa Silva, R, Disney, M, Espejo, JS, Feldpausch, TR, Ferreira, L, Giacomin, L, Higuchi, N, Hirota, M, Honorio, E, Huaraca Huasco, W, Lewis, S, Flores Llampazo, G, Malhi, Y, Monteagudo Mendoza, A, Morandi, P, Chama Moscoso, V, Muscarella, R, Penha, D, Rocha, MC, Rodrigues, G, Ruschel, AR, Salinas, N, Schlickmann, M, Silveira, M, Talbot, J, Vásquez, R, Vedovato, L, Vieira, SA, Phillips, OL, Gloor, E & Galbraith, DR 2023, 'Basin-wide variation in tree hydraulic safety margins predicts the carbon balance of Amazon forests', Nature, vol. 617, no. 7959, pp. 111-117. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-05971-3

Costa, FRC, Lang, C, Sousa, TR, Emilio, T, Esquivel-Muelbert, A & Schietti, J 2023, 'Fine-grained water availability drives divergent trait selection in Amazonian trees', Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, vol. 6, 1112560. https://doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2023.1112560

de Lima, RB, Görgens, EB, da Silva, DAS, de Oliveira, CP, Batista, APB, Caraciolo Ferreira, RL, Costa, FRC, Ferreira de Lima, RA, da Silva Aparício, P, de Abreu, JC, da Silva, JAA, Guimaraes, AF, Fearnside, PM, Sousa, TR, Perdiz, R, Higuchi, N, Berenguer, E, Resende, AF, Elias, F, de Castilho, CV, de Medeiros, MB, de Matos Filho, JR, Sardinha, MA, Freitas, MAF, da Silva, JJ, da Cunha, AP, Santos, RM, Muelbert, AE, Guedes, MC, Imbrózio, R, de Sousa, CSC, da Silva Aparício, WC, da Silva e Silva, BM, Silva, CA, Marimon, BS, Junior, BHM, Morandi, PS, Storck-Tonon, D, Vieira, ICG, Schietti, J, Coelho, F, Alves de Almeida, DR, Castro, W, Carvalho, SPC, da Silva, RDSA, Silveira, J, Camargo, JL, Melgaço, K, de Freitas, LJM, Vedovato, L, Benchimol, M, de Oliveira de Almeida, G, Prance, G, da Silveira, AB, Simon, MF, Garcia, ML, Silveira, M, Vital, M, Andrade, MBT, Silva, N, de Araújo, RO, Cavalheiro, L, Carpanedo, R, Fernandes, L, Manzatto, AG, de Andrade, RTG, Magnusson, WE, Laurance, B, Nelson, BW, Peres, C, Daly, DC, Rodrigues, D, Zopeletto, AP, de Oliveira, EA, Dugachard, E, Barbosa, FR, Santana, F, do Amaral, IL, Ferreira, LV, Charão, LS, Ferreira, J, Barlow, J, Blanc, L, Aragão, L, Sist, P, de Paiva Salomão, R, da Silva, ASL, Laurance, S, Feldpausch, TR, Gardner, T, Santiago, W, Balee, W, Laurance, WF, Malhi, Y, Phillips, OL, da Silva Zanzini, AC, Rosa, C, Tadeu Oliveira, W, Pereira Zanzini, L, José Silva, R & Mangabeira Albernaz, AL 2023, 'Giants of the Amazon: How does environmental variation drive the diversity patterns of large trees?', Global Change Biology, vol. 29, no. 17, pp. 4861-4879. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.16821

Synergize Consortium 2023, 'Pervasive gaps in Amazonian ecological research', Current biology : CB, vol. 33, no. 16, pp. 3495-3504.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2023.06.077

Bennett, AC & Esquivel-Muelbert, A 2023, 'Sensitivity of South American tropical forests to an extreme climate anomaly', Nature Climate Change, vol. 13, pp. 967-974. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-023-01776-4

Rodrigues, AV, Pastório, FF, Bones, FLV, Esquivel Muelbert, A, Vibrans, AC & de Gasper, AL 2022, 'A test of the fast–slow plant economy hypothesis in a subtropical rain forest', Plant Ecology and Diversity, vol. 14, no. 5-6, pp. 267-277. https://doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2022.2039313

Reis, SM, Marimon, BS, Esquivel‐muelbert, A, Marimon, BH, Morandi, PS, Elias, F, Oliveira, EA, Galbraith, D, Feldpausch, TR, Menor, IO, Malhi, Y & Phillips, OL 2022, 'Climate and crown damage drive tree mortality in southern Amazonian edge forests', Journal of Ecology, vol. 110, no. 4, pp. 876-888. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13849

Klipel, J, Bergamin, R, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Lima, RAFD, Oliveira, A, Prado, PI & Müller, S 2022, 'Climatic distribution of tree species in the Atlantic Forest', Biotropica, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 1170-1181. https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.13140

De Sousa, TR, Schietti, J, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Phillips, OL, Costa, FRC & Ribeiro, I 2022, 'Water table depth modulates productivity and biomass across Amazonian forests', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 1571-1588. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13531

Draper, FC, Costa, FRC, Arellano, G, Phillips, OL, Duque, A, Macía, MJ, Ter Steege, H, Asner, GP, Berenguer, E, Schietti, J, Socolar, JB, De Souza, FC, Dexter, KG, Jørgensen, PM, Tello, JS, Magnusson, WE, Baker, TR, Castilho, CV, Monteagudo-mendoza, A, Fine, PVA, Ruokolainen, K, Coronado, ENH, Aymard, G, Dávila, N, Sáenz, MS, Paredes, MAR, Engel, J, Fortunel, C, Paine, CET, Goret, J, Dourdain, A, Petronelli, P, Allie, E, Andino, JEG, Brienen, RJW, Pérez, LC, Manzatto, ÂG, Zambrana, NYP, Molino, J, Sabatier, D, Chave, J, Fauset, S, Villacorta, RG, Réjou-méchain, M, Berry, PE, Melgaço, K, Feldpausch, TR, Sandoval, EV, Martinez, RV, Mesones, I, Junqueira, AB, Roucoux, KH, De Toledo, JJ, Andrade, AC, Camargo, JL, Del Aguila Pasquel, J, Santana, FD, Laurance, WF, Laurance, SG, Lovejoy, TE, Comiskey, JA, Galbraith, DR, Kalamandeen, M, Aguilar, GEN, Arenas, JV, Guerra, CAA, Flores, M, Llampazo, GF, Montenegro, LAT, Gomez, RZ, Pansonato, MP, Moscoso, VC, Vleminckx, J, Barrantes, OJV, Duivenvoorden, JF, De Sousa, SA, Arroyo, L, Perdiz, RO, Cravo, JS, Marimon, BS, Junior, BHM, Carvalho, FA, Damasco, G, Disney, M, Vital, MS, Diaz, PRS, Vicentini, A, Nascimento, H, Higuchi, N, Van Andel, T, Malhi, Y, Ribeiro, SC, Terborgh, JW, Thomas, RS, Dallmeier, F, Prieto, A, Hilário, RR, Salomão, RP, Silva, RDC, Casas, LF, Vieira, ICG, Araujo-murakami, A, Arevalo, FR, Ramírez-angulo, H, Torre, EV, Peñuela, MC, Killeen, TJ, Pardo, G, Jimenez-rojas, E, Castro, W, Cabrera, DG, Pipoly, J, De Sousa, TR, Silvera, M, Vos, V, Neill, D, Vargas, PN, Vela, DM, Aragão, LEOC, Umetsu, RK, Sierra, R, Wang, O, Young, KR, Prestes, NCCS, Massi, KG, Huaymacari, JR, Gutierrez, GAP, Aldana, AM, Alexiades, MN, Baccaro, F, Céron, C, Muelbert, AE, Rios, JMG, Lima, AS, Lloyd, JL, Pitman, NCA, Gamarra, LV, Oroche, CJC, Fuentes, AF, Palacios, W, Patiño, S, Torres-lezama, A & Baraloto, C 2021, 'Amazon tree dominance across forest strata', Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 5, no. 6, pp. 757–767. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01418-y

Bordin, KM, Esquivel-muelbert, A, Bergamin, RS, Klipel, J, Picolotto, RC, Frangipani, MA, Zanini, KJ, Cianciaruso, MV, Jarenkow, JA, Jurinitz, CF, Molz, M, Higuchi, P, Silva, ACD & Müller, SC 2021, 'Climate and large-sized trees, but not diversity, drive above-ground biomass in subtropical forests', Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 490, 119126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2021.119126

Gora, E & Esquivel Muelbert, A 2021, 'Implications of size-dependent tree mortality for tropical forest carbon dynamics', Nature Plants, vol. 7, pp. 384–391. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-021-00879-0

Forestplots.net, Esquivel-Muelbert, A & Pugh, T 2021, 'Taking the pulse of Earth's tropical forests using networks of highly distributed plots', Biological Conservation, vol. 260, 108849. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108849


Bordin, KM, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Klipel, J, Picolotto, RC, Bergamin, R, Silva, ACD, Higuchi, P, Capellesso, ES, Marques, MCM, Souza, AF & Müller, SC 2023, 'No relationship between biodiversity and forest carbon sink across the subtropical Brazilian Atlantic Forest', Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 112-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2023.02.003

Review article

Hartmann, H, Bastos, A, Das, AJ, Esquivel-muelbert, A, Hammond, WM, Martínez-vilalta, J, Mcdowell, NG, Powers, JS, Pugh, TAM, Ruthrof, KX & Allen, CD 2022, 'Climate change risks to global forest health: emergence of unexpected events of elevated tree mortality worldwide', Annual Review of Plant Biology, vol. 73, no. 1, pp. 673-702. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-arplant-102820-012804

View all publications in research portal


air pollution; urban sustainability; green infrastructure; temperate forests and climate; tropical land-use and climate