John Crawford (PhD Student) – John is a PhD student with ForestPrime. His research focusses on linking detailed measurements in lab microcosms to results from field experiments.

When not in the lab surrounded by rows of Kilner jars, he can usually be found mountain-biking or playing the guitar.




E. Medina-BarcenasEduardo Medina-Barcenas (PhD Student, Open University) – I’m a Biologist with a very broad range of interests; especially on the processes and dynamics that affect ecosystem functioning and species survival.

My research looks at the effect of tree species on soil carbon dynamics under climate change. For this project I am performing lab experiments and field experiments (at Wytham Woods and Gisburn Forest) to understand the effects of different tree species on soil carbon dynamics.

My previous research project was as an MPhil student at the Department of Evolution, Behaviour and Environment at Sussex University. My project focused on the ecological implication of colour-change strategies in neotropical amphibians. I’ve also had the opportunity to work at The Smithsonian Tropical Institute based in Panama as a research assistant for over 3 years. During this time I gained experience in different scientific disciplines and methodologies. Some of the projects looked at plant functional traits, trees species spatial distribution in the tropics, the evolution of seed-feeding weevils and anurans and monkey behaviour.



James Edgerley (PhD Student – STARS). James did his Masters by Research with the group on “The influence of leaf litter and plants on soil respiration before, during and after a severe drought” and he’s stayed on as a PhD student to work on the Buxton Climate Change Impacts Study, where he’s investigating the effects of climate change on soil microbial communities and functions. James crossed over to the Dark Side (Ecology) after completing a Masters in Physics.





OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADeirdre Kerdraon-Byrne (PhD Student – NERC funded) Works on the NERC Human-modified Tropical Forests project LOMBOK. She has completed fieldwork in Borneo and is now carrying out comparative research in Panama. Her project investigates the role of tree diversity on soil carbon cycling in disturbed tropical forests.


(She also bakes the most amazing cakes).




Former Students

img_0089Wallace Beiroz (PhD Student) Wallace works on the ecology and functional diversity of dung beetles in tropical forests. He completed a joint PhD at Lancaster University and the Federal University of Lavras in 2016: Understanding spatial and temporal shifts in taxonomic and functional diversity: Assessing dung beetles in a human-modified Amazonian landscape. Find Wallace on Researchgate.

Benita Laird-Hopkins (MSc Student) Benita did a 1-year research project in the ForestPrime plots in Panama, investigating the effect of plant traits on decomposition rates and litter arthropod communities. She now works as a project manager at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Find Benita on Researchgate.

1bEduard Estradera (ERASMUS exchange student) – I’m a technician in Environmental Chemistry and I’m in the final year of my Environmental Sciences degree at the University of Barcelona. I’m interested in natural processes especially in forest ecology, hydrology and soil sciences. In my free time I am dedicated to beekeeping.

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