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


Forestplots.net 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

ForestPlots 2020, 'Asynchronous carbon sink saturation in African and Amazonian tropical forests', Nature, vol. 579, no. 7797, pp. 80-87. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2035-0

Reis, SM, Marimon, BS, Morandi, PS, Elias, F, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Marimon Junior, BH, Fauset, S, de Oliveira, EA, van der Heijden, GMF, Galbraith, D, Feldpausch, TR & Phillips, OL 2020, 'Causes and consequences of liana infestation in southern Amazonia', Journal of Ecology, vol. 108, no. 6, pp. 2184-2197. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13470

ForestPlots 2020, 'Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth’s tropical forests', Science, vol. 368, no. 6493, pp. 869-874. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaw7578

Sousa, TR, Schietti, J, Coelho de Souza, F, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Ribeiro, IO, Emílio, T, Pequeno, PACL, Phillips, O & Costa, FRC 2020, 'Palms and trees resist extreme drought in Amazon forests with shallow water tables', Journal of Ecology, vol. 108, no. 5, pp. 2070-2082. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13377

Nutrient Network 2020, 'TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access', Global Change Biology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 119-188. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14904

ForestPlots, Esquivel-Muelbert, A & Pugh, TAM 2020, 'Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests', Nature Communications, vol. 11, no. 1, 5515. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18996-3

ForestPlots 2019, 'Compositional response of Amazon forests to climate change', Global Change Biology, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 39-56. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14413

Ziegler, C, Coste, S, Stahl, C, Delzon, S, Levionnois, S, Cazal, J, Cochard, H, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Goret, J-Y, Heuret, P, Jaouen, G, Santiago, LS & Bonal, D 2019, 'Large hydraulic safety margins protect Neotropical canopy rainforest tree species against hydraulic failure during drought', Annals of Forest Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-019-0905-0

Esquivel-Muelbert, JR, Fontoura, L, Zardo, É, Jr, DPS, Esquivel-Muelbert, A & Garcia, JRE 2018, 'Assessing the Viability of Reintroduction of Locally Extinct Migratory Fish Brycon orbignyanus: Successful Growth, Dispersal and Maturation', Fishes. https://doi.org/10.3390/fishes3040039

Elias, F, Marimon, BS, Marimon-Junior, BH, Budke, JC, Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Morandi, PS, Reis, SM & Phillips, OL 2018, 'Idiosyncratic soil-tree species associations and their relationships with drought in a monodominant Amazon forest', Acta Oecologica. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2018.07.004

Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Galbraith, D, Dexter, KG, Baker, TR, Lewis, SL, Meir, P, Rowland, L, Da Costa, ACL, Nepstad, D & Phillips, OL 2017, 'Biogeographic distributions of neotropical trees reflect their directly measured drought tolerances', Scientific Reports, vol. 7, 8334. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-08105-8

Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Baker, TR, Dexter, KG, Lewis, SL, Ter Steege, H, Lopez-gonzalez, G, Monteagudo Mendoza, A, Brienen, R, Feldpausch, TR, Pitman, N, Alonso, A, Van Der Heijden, G, Peña-claros, M, Ahuite, M, Alexiaides, M, Álvarez Dávila, E, Murakami, AA, Arroyo, L, Aulestia, M, Balslev, H, Barroso, J, Boot, R, Cano, A, Chama Moscoso, V, Comiskey, JA, Cornejo, F, Dallmeier, F, Daly, DC, Dávila, N, Duivenvoorden, JF, Duque Montoya, AJ, Erwin, T, Di Fiore, A, Fredericksen, T, Fuentes, A, García-villacorta, R, Gonzales, T, Guevara Andino, JE, Honorio Coronado, EN, Huamantupa-chuquimaco, I, Eliana Maria Jiménez, R, Killeen, TJ, Malhi, Y, Mendoza, C, Mogollón, H, Jørgensen, PM, Montero, JC, Mostacedo, B, Nauray, W, Neill, D, Vargas, PN, Palacios, S, Palacios Cuenca, W, Pallqui Camacho, NC, Peacock, J, Phillips, JF, Pickavance, G, Quesada, CA, Ramírez-angulo, H, Restrepo, Z, Reynel Rodriguez, C, Paredes, MR, Peñuela-mora, MC, Sierra, R, Silveira, M, Stevenson, P, Stropp, J, Terborgh, J, Tirado, M, Toledo, M, Torres-lezama, A, Umaña, MN, Urrego, LE, Vasquez Martinez, R, Gamarra, LV, Vela, CIA, Vilanova Torre, E, Vos, V, Von Hildebrand, P, Vriesendorp, C, Wang, O, Young, KR, Zartman, CE & Phillips, OL 2017, 'Seasonal drought limits tree species across the Neotropics', Ecography, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 618-629. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.01904


Zang, C, Buras, A, Esquivel Muelbert, A, Jump, A, Rigling, A & Rammig, A 2019, 'Standardized drought indices in ecological research: why one size does not fit all', Global Change Biology, pp. 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14809

Special issue

Esquivel-Muelbert, A, Bennett, A, Sullivan, M, Baker, J, Gavish, Y, Johnson, MO, Wang, Y, Chambers-Ostler, A, Giannichi, ML, Gomes, L, Kalamandeen, M, Pattnayak, KC & Fauset, S 2019, 'A spatial and temporal risk assessment of the impacts of El Niño on the tropical forest carbon cycle: theoretical framework, scenarios, and implications', Atmosphere, vol. 10, no. 10, 588, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100588

View all publications in research portal


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

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