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Principal Investigator


John received a PhD in Forest Ecology from University College Cork in 2013. After this, John was an EPA Ireland research fellow, using Earth Observation approaches to assess contemporary deforestation in Ireland. From 2015 - 2017, John was a Smithsonian Institution Postdoctoral Fellow & was based at the Terrestrial Ecology Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre in Maryland, USA. John was a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin from 2018 – 2020. John is the Principal Investigator of the Forest Ecology & Global Change Lab at Maynooth University and also currently serves as the coordinator of the IUFRO working party on Forest Biodiversity and Resilience.


PhD Candidate

Laura graduated with a BSc in Botany from Trinity College Dublin in 2016 and went on to complete a MSc in Biotherapeutics at UCD. Laura joined the Forest Ecology and Global Change Lab in April 2022 to begin work on her PhD project - "Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry". The PhD is part of the wider ContinuFOR project, funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine. Laura's PhD is exploring the environmental impacts of transformation of even-aged conifer stands to uneven-aged, structurally diverse mixed forests. 

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PhD Candidate

Meshack holds a BSc in Environmental Conservation & Natural Resources Management from the University of Nairobi, & a MSc in Environmental Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. Meshack joined the lab in October 2022 to work on his PhD - "Natural Colonization of forest on post-industrial peatlands - implications for ecosystem services". The project is funded by the Irish Research Council & the EPA. The research will investigate the impact of natural woodland development on abandoned cutaway peatlands in Ireland, with particular focus on the biodiversity & climate mitigation value of these woodlands. 


PhD Candidate

Thomas graduated with a BA in Geography from Maynooth University in 2019 and went on to complete a MSc in Climate Change at Maynooth University in 2020. With expertise in GIS, Thomas joined the Forest Ecology and Global Change Lab in September 2021 as a research assistant on the National Parks and Wildlife Service funded "Long-Established and Ancient Woodlands LEAF" project. In November 2022, Thomas commenced his PhD research on "Improved mapping, monitoring, and conservation of Ireland’s ancient woodlands". His PhD is co-funded by the National Parks and Wildlife, Maynooth Department of Biology, and ICARUS, and co-supervised by Dr John Devaney Dr Helen Shaw, Department of Geography, Maynooth University, and Dr Jenni Roche, NPWS. 

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Dr Mame Sarr

Postdoctoral researcher


Mame Sarr earned a BSc and MSc degree in plant biology from Cheikh Anta Diop University, Senegal. She received a PhD in forestry and forest products at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA in 2017. Mame has worked for many years at the Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research before joining the Forest Ecology and Global Change lab in November 2023 to work on the project ‘’Future Proofing Senegal’s Great Green Wall’’ funded by the Irish Research Council. The project will carry out growth trials of GGW tree species under simulated future climate conditions. The project aims to strengthen the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative by informing climate resilient tree species selection for restoration efforts.  Mame is also a laureate candidate of the program One Planet Fellowship

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Dr Wenguang Tang

Postdoctoral researcher

My name is Wenguang Tang, and I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Maynooth University, Ireland. I am a forest ecologist studying forest restoration and carbon cycling. I use experiments to understand how nutrient limitation and climate change will affect forest carbon sequestration, and how forests will adapt to resource limitation and global climate change.
Before I started my postdoc, I recieved my PhD degree from the University of Leeds, UK. During my PhD, I used a landscape-scale nutrient manipulation experiment in central Panama to investigate whether nutrients will limit tropical forest carbon sink, if and how tropical trees apply strategies to address nutrient limitation, and how to accelerate tropical forest carbon sequestration by governing nutrients.
I started my postdoc in November 2023. As part of the SFI funfed Future Forests project, I will help to establish an open top chamber experiment to simulate the effects of warming and atmospheric CO2 fertilization on temperate forest carbon sink. In this experiment, I want to understand the benefits, risks, and possibility of recovering forests in temperate and cold zones.


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