Jesús Aguirre Gutiérrez, Mexico -  Natural Environment Research Council Independent Researcher Fellowship Recipient 2020

Jesús Aguirre Gutiérrez, Mexico - Natural Environment Research Council Independent Researcher Fellowship Recipient 2020

Jesús Aguirre Gutiérrez has been awarded a new five-year Independent Researcher Fellowship from the Natural Environment Research Council to understand tropical forest responses to global change drivers. Working with contacts from around the world including Brazil, Ghana, Mexico, Australia, Costa Rica, and Oxford and Leeds (UK), he will integrate biodiversity metrics with state-of-the-art functional traits, spatially explicit multidecadal vegetation information and remote sensing approaches.

"Overall, my goal is to disentangle how a changing climate has impacted, is currently driving and will modify in the near future our natural forest ecosystems."

Much is still unknown about how tropical forests around the world are responding to an increasingly fast changing climate, and there may be regions that are or will experience stronger biodiversity shifts and may be in more need of protection or regulation.

"The new understanding generated from my project will pinpoint high-risk regions and will aid developing robust conservation and management strategies in tropical forest ecosystems."

Jesús's research interests come from understanding the importance nature has on our livelihoods - something he learnt through his experiences with indigenous communities in Mexico and abroad.

"Having grown-up in Guadalajara, one of the biggest cities in Mexico where not much nature is around, I decided to spend a year living with the indigenous "Rarámuri" community in Northern Mexico to learn from their vision of nature."

Jesús first joined SoGE in 2017 to develop a project, together with Professor Yadvinder Malhi, to understand the role that plant functional characteristic play for the resilience of tropical forests within the School's Environmental Change Institute and is also currently a Researcher Co-Investigator in the "Arboles" NERC funded project monitoring plant functional diversity by remote sensing in Latin American forests.