Tropical Ecology and Conservation

The last remaining tropical forests of our planet harbor astonishing levels of both biological and cultural diversity, and conserving them is crucial not only to meet globally-agreed biodiversity and climate goals, but also to safeguard crucial ecosystem services underpinning human well-being.

One of our core research lines studies the impacts of tropical deforestation on people and biodiversity. With sets of projects in Madagascar and the Amazon, our work spans from remote sensing analyses to quantify deforestation, to spatial analyses of fragmentation and its impacts on faunal groups such as birds and bats. We strive to understand where collapses in biodiversity have impacts on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities, for example, through biodiversity-linked effects on biological pest control, crop yields and disease at the forest frontier. Having a strong interest in the role of governance in conservation effectiveness, we also endeavor to making an impact in the political sphere.

Projects and team members

  • Carnivores in North Kenya / Miquel Torrents Ticó
  • Desert bats in North Kenya / Irene Conenna 

Key references 

  • Jones, J.P.G., Ratsimbazafy, J., Ratsifandrihamanana, A.N., Watson, J.E.M., Andrianandrasana, H.T., Cabeza, M., Cinner, J.E., Goodman, S.M., Hawkins, F., Mittermeier, R.A., Rabearisoa, A.L., Rakotonarivo, O.S., Razafimanahaka, J.H., Razafimpahanana, A.R., Wilmé, L., Wright, P.C. 2019. Last chance for Madagascar’s biodiversity. Nature Sustainability. doi: 10.1038/s41893-019-0288-0 
  • Kemp, J., López-Baucells, A., Rocha, R., Wangensteen, O.S., Andriatafika, Z., Nair, A., Cabeza, M. 2019. Bats as potential suppressors of multiple agricultural pests: a case study from Madagascar. Agric. Ecosyst. Environ., 269, pp. 88-9. 
  • Fernández-Llamazares, Á., Helle, J., Eklund, J., Balmford, A., Moraes R., M., Reyes-García, V., Cabeza, M. 2018. New law puts Bolivian biodiversity hotspot on road to deforestation. Current Biology 28(1): R15–R16. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.11.013 
  • Terraube, J., Fernández-Llamazares, Á., Cabeza, M. 2017. The role of protected areas in supporting human health: a call to broaden the assessment of conservation outcomes. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 25: 50-58. 
  • Eklund, J., Blanchet, G., Nyman, J., Rocha, R., Virtanen, T., Cabeza, M. 2016. Contrasting spatial and temporal trends of protected area effectiveness in mitigating deforestation in Madagascar. Biological Conservation 203: 290-297. 
  • Eklund, J. and Cabeza, M. 2016. Quality of governance and effectiveness of protected areas: crucial concepts for conservation planning. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13284