David Moreno Mateos

Research Interests

The recovery of a largely degraded world is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face over the next centuries. However, we still know little on how to tackle it. We look into global patterns of ecosystem recovery and specific mechanisms that regulate the recovery process over the long term. We strive to use this knowledge to design new tools for practice and policy of the currently limited performance of ecosystem restoration. We are particularly interested in ecosystem attributes that best describe ecosystem complexity, which includes the interactions between plants and soil microorganisms, among others. Given the pace of ecological processes, we sometimes look into ecosystems that have been undergoing recovery from anthropogenic disturbance, like agriculture, for centuries of millennia. These include ancient Norse agricultural areas in Greenland, Pre-Columbian farming in the Amazon, or post-agricultural temperate forests in North America and Europe. We combine meta-analysis, genomics, network theory, archeology, or paleoecology to answer our questions, which mostly help us work with people from quite varied disciplines. The student will work closely with me and our collaborators to develop an independent research program into the fields described and will likely combine several methodological approaches (e. g. meta-analysis and genomics or network theory).


Qualifications and Experience

I have a BEng in Forestry from the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, and a PhD in Ecosystem Restoration from the Universidad de Alcala and CSIC (Spain). I held postdoctoral positions at the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford University and the CNRS (France). I have been an Ikerbasque Researcher in Spain since 2014 and Assistant Professor at Harvard University between 2020 and 2023.

Personal Research Keywords

Ecosystem recovery, ecosystem restoration, macroecology, ecological complexity, global ecological patterns, genomics