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I am an ICREA Research Professor of Plant and Ecosystem Ecology at CREAF. I was lecturer, then Professor of Forest Science at the University of Edinburgh (UK) from 1997 to 2017. I was visiting fellow at Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University, USA (1999), visiting Scientist at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (2009) and at CSIRO (Tasmania, Australia; 2010), and Eminent Scholar at University of Western Sydney (Australia, 2012-2016). My research interests encompass scales from cells to ecosystems, with a main focus on the long-distance transport of water and carbon via the xylem and phloem in plants and use of stable isotopes in ecology.
My recent focus has been on improving our understanding of the water relations of trees and the impacts of drought frequency and intensity on the physiology of trees and forests. I explored the significance of nitrogen deposition for the carbon cycle of temperate trees in the UK, the impacts of drought on the mortality of Scots pine across the Mediterranean basin and the phenotypic variability of hydraulic traits.
Currently, I am involved in projects with US groups (SUNY Albany) using nanotechonology to develop a phloem sugar sensor for in-vivo applications in trees, with UK groups (Leeds) to quantify phenotypic variability of hydraulic traits across environmental gradients in South America (Peru, Bolivia, British Guyana, Brazil) and with Australian groups (Canberra) to quantify drought-induced responses in the world’s longest running tropical drought experiment in Brazil and in a new drought experiment in the Australian tropics.
The physiological ecology of trees
Adaptation and ecological plasticity of the water transport system of trees, The carbon cycle of forest ecosystems, Prevention of forest degradation and forest restoration in Tropical regions