US United States
Lecturer in Ecosystem Ecology at University of Oxford

I am a lecturer in Ecosystem Ecology within the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the University of Oxford. My main interest is in understanding tropical forest carbon fluxes, through remote sensing, eddy covariance, leaf gas exchange and intensive carbon cycle plots. My secondary interest is in understanding how the Pleistocene Megafauna extinctions impacted global biogeochemical cycles, climate and global tree diversity.

I majored in Environmental Science at the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently completed a PhD in Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. I spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Global Ecology at the Carnegie Institution, Stanford. I then accepted a junior research fellowship in tropical forest ecology in the Ecosystem Dynamics group at ECI. In April 2013 I began a lectureship in the same department.

Current Projects

I am coordinating research at 17 rainforest plots in 6 sites across the Amazon basin. At these plots, intensive monitoring of forest carbon cycling and allocation will: 1) provide baseline estimates of current forest carbon storage, and 2) track ongoing changes in forest carbon cycling. These results will help develop the next generation of coupled atmosphere-biosphere models and guide international climate policy.

I also have projects to understand the role that large animals play in biogeochemical cycling over continental regions and long periods of time; to understand how montane ecosystems contribute to global weathering and control long-term global climate; and to understand how tropical forest leaf traits (i.e. photosynthesis) can be predicted by leaf spectroscopy.


Galbraith, D., Malhi, Y., Affum-Baffoe, K., Castanho, A.D.A., Doughty, C.E., Fisher, R.A., Lewis, S.L., Peh, K.S-H., Phillips, O.L. and Quesada, C.A. (2013) Residence times of woody biomass in tropical forests. Plant Ecology and Diversity, 6(1): 139-157.
Doughty, C.E. (2012) Theoretical Impact of Changing Albedo on Precipitation at the Southernmost Boundary of the ITCZ in South America. Earth Interactions, 16(8).
Doughty, C.E. (2011) An in situ leaf and branch level warming experiment in the Amazon. Biotropica, 43(6): 658-665.
Doughty, C.E. (2011) An in situ leaf and branch warming experiment in the Amazon. Biotropica, 43(6): 658-665.
Doughty, C.E., Asner, G.P. and Martin, R.E. (2011) Predicting tropical plant physiology from leaf and canopy spectroscopy. Oecologia, 165(2): 289-299.
Doughty, C.E., Field, C.B. and McMillan, A.M.S. (2011) Can crop albedo be increased through the modification of leaf trichomes and could this cool regional climate? Climatic Change, 104(2): 379-387.
Malhi, Y., Doughty, C. and Galbraith, D. (2011) The allocation of ecosystem net primary productivity in tropical forests. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, 366(1582).
Doughty, C.E. (2010) The development of agriculture in the Americas: an ecological perspective. Ecosphere, 1(6).
Doughty, C.E. and Field, C.B. (2010) Agricultural net primary production in relation to that liberated by the extinction of Pleistocene mega-herbivores: an estimate of agricultural carrying capacity? Environmental Research Letters, 5.
Doughty, C.E. and Wolf, A. (2010) Detecting Tree-like Multicellular Life on Extrasolar Planets. Astrobiology, 10(9): 869-879.
Doughty, C.E., Flanner, M.G. and Goulden, M.L. (2010) Effect of smoke on subcanopy shaded light, canopy temperature, and carbon dioxide uptake in an Amazon rainforest. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 24(3).
Doughty, C.E., Wolf, A. and Field, C.B. (2010) Biophysical feedbacks between the Pleistocene megafauna extinction and climate: The first human-induced global warming? Geophysical Research Letters, 37(15).
Doughty, C.E. and Goulden, M.L. (2008) Are tropical forests near a high temperature threshold. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113.
Doughty, C.E. and Goulden, M.L. (2008) Seasonal patterns of tropical forest leaf area index and CO2 exchange. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113.
Doughty, C.E., Goulden, M.L., Miller, S.D. and da Rocha, H.R. (2006) Circadian rhythms constrain leaf and canopy gas exchange in an Amazonian forest. Geophysical Research Letters, 33.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Ecosystem Ecology, University of Oxford

Contact Chris for

  • Expert Opinion
  • Research Collaboration
  • Research Supervision