The ECOSTRESSI Group focuses on quantifying the vulnerability of terrestrial natural ecosystems to repeated disturbances and prolonged degradation.

Research focus:

Identifying  ecological thresholds beyond which global changes cause abrupt, prolonged degradation of terrestrial ecosystems by stressing, disturbing, and killing forests.

Quantifying  ecological & climatological boundaries for tropical agricultural expansion and intensification.

Finding solutions to feed the planet while maintaining  the ecological integrity of terrestrial natural ecosystems.

To advance the science, we rely on field work (mostly Amazon), ecological modeling (simple is good), and the use of remote sensing techniques.

Lab Members

Paulo Brando
Assistant Professor
Phone: (949) 824-8794

Terrestrial ecosystem scientist.

My research explores the vulnerability of terrestrial natural ecosystems to repeated disturbances and prolonged degradation. My scientific toolbox includes a combination of field manipulation experiments, statistical and dynamic vegetation models, and remote sensing. These skills have  helped me to scale up results from the local to the regional scale. My Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Ecology has also facilitated my interaction with a wide range of disciplines to integrate knowledge from research specialists across different fields to contribute to potential solutions to tropical forest sustainability. I’m particularly interested in collaborating with policy-oriented NGOs (WHRC and IPAM, in particular) to disseminate scientific findings about land use change and climate change to a wide range of different societal groups.  

CV                          ResearchGate                      Publons                            GoogleScholar



Siena  Chiyo. I am an undergraduate student pursuing a major in Earth System Science. While working in this lab, I will be using remote sensing to better understand how anthropogenic forces are affecting the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous peoples living within it. My goal is to: partner with a television network (Discovery Channel or National Geographic, specifically), inform the public of climate policies,  document the local population’s opinions, and translate the impact those actions will have on the environment, explained by climate scientists.


We are recruiting! If you are interested in joining the lab, please send me an email and check out the UCI-ESS website. You may be the first student to join the lab at Irvine. But you will be part of a larger group, including several students  in Brazil. Diversity, inclusion, and equity form the core values of the ECOSTRESS-I lab.



Former lab members:

Rodolfo de Abreu
Assistant Project Scientist

Research Projects

Tropical biomes: how agriculture intensification and climate may alter fire regimes. National Science Foundation-Macrosystems

Intensification in the world’s largest agricultural frontier: Integrating food production, water use, energy demand, and environmental integrity in a changing climate. National Science Foundation-INFEWS

Legacies of deforestation and forest degradation on across an Amazon agricultural frontier: effects on biodiversity, carbon cycling, and water resources. National Council for Scientific and Technological Development

Feedbacks among deforestation, agriculture expansion, and climate change: challenges and opportunities. National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.