Edinburgh Research Explorer

Isla Myers-Smith

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo

Research Interests

My research group and I are ecologists working to understand how global change alters plant communities and ecosystem processes. We work at focal research sites in Northern Canada and conduct data syntheses at tundra biome and global scales.

A key theme of our research is investigating climate change impacts in tundra ecosystems. There is strong evidence that tundra ecosystems are responding to a warming climate. However, we don’t yet know the mechanistic pathways leading to change that would allow for quantitative predictions. Vegetation change could restructure the tundra by influencing nutrient cycles, carbon storage, surface reflectance, thus creating feedbacks that can affect the planet as a whole. Our research group is addressing these major knowledge gaps to better understand the causes and consequences of vegetation change.

We conduct field research using a variety of tools including ecological monitoring, drones, dendroecology, decomposition experiments using tea bags, and more. We also lead data syntheses in collaboration with researchers working across the circumpolar Arctic and around the world.

Websites

Research Group Webpage:
https://teamshrub.com/

Research activities & awards

  1. The Greening of the Arctic

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar

  2. Edinburgh International Science Festival 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition

  3. Edinburgh International Science Festival 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition

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Latest prizes

  1. Walters Kundert Fellowship

    Prize: Fellowships awarded competitively

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