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School of Geography

Roel Brienen Dr Roel Brienen

Contact details

School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 (0) 113 34 33381

Student hours:

Research overview

I am broadly interested in ecosystem functioning and interactions between ecology and the environment with a specific interest on the impact of climate change on tropical forests. My latest research focused on the long-term responses of tropical trees to climate and increasing atmospheric [CO2] levels. In these studies I used tree rings and stable isotopes (δ13C, δ18O), which allow the reconstruction of historical responses of trees to climate over long time intervals and may tell us what to expect for the future. This also provides clues concerning to the resilience of tropical forests to predicted climate change. I am further interested in the reconstruction of past climates, and the use of isotopes as tracers for changes in the climate system. Recently, I started using oxygen isotope analysis of tree ring cellulose as a tracer for historical changes in the hydrological cycle of the Amazon.


  • Anillos de crecimiento en los trópicos; los potenciales y las limitaciones. Oral presentation at the XVII Congres of the Botanical Society of Mexico. Zacatecas, Mexico November 2007.
  • Dating tropical trees in secondary forests along chronosequences Poster presentation at the international congress of the ESA/SER ‘Ecological restoration in a changing world’, San Jose, Califormia, EEUU, August 2007
  • Comparing canopy accession of Cedrela odorata in a tropical dry and moist forest using tree ring Oral presentation at the international congress of the ATBC ‘Linking Tropical Biology with human Dimension’ Morelia, Mexico, July 2007
  • ¿Como alcanzar el dosel? Un estudio de crecimiento de árboles tropicales a través de anillos de crecimiento Oral presentation at the congress of the Mexican Ecological Society, Morelia, Mexico, Noviembre, 2006
  • Using tree ring analysis in tropical forests for demographic studies and the evaluation of forest management. Oral presentation at special ATBC meeting  ‘Biotic interactions in the tropics’ Aberdeen, UK, July 2003
  • Evaluación de aprovechamiento y proyecciones de volumenes de 4 especies maderables en el norte de Bolivia en base de un estudio de anillos de crecimiento. Oral presentation at 2da reunion sobre Investigacion Forestal. Cochabamba, Bolivia, August, 2003      
  • Dinámica del crecimiento de árboles maderables ;  Potencial del uso de anillos de crecimiento. Oral presentation at 1a Reunión Nacional sobre Investigación Forestal, Santa Cruz, Bolivia, June 2002