News & Events







  • Graduate Student Miriam Johnstonpresented a poster at the recent HyspIRI science team meeting at Caltech: “How well do terrestrial biosphere models predict surface energy balance?”  We can't wait to see the outcome of this research!


  • From October 3rd-5th, Paul Moorcroft attended the UF Amazon Workshop in Gainesville, FL.  This year's topic was "Tools and Strategies for Conservation and Development in the Amazon: Lessons Learned and Future Pathways." Kudos to these researchers for their dedication to some of the world's most pressing challenges!

UF Amazon Workshop



  • Xiangtao Xu, a Postdoctoral Fellow in our lab, successfully defended his PhD thesis titled "Understanding Plant Water Stress and the Terrestrial Carbon Cycle in Tropical Ecosystems: The Roles of Plant Hydraulics, Phenology, and Competition".  Congratulations, Dr. Xu!


  • Erik Larson, formerly at MIT, joined our lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow.  We are thrilled to have him here and can't wait to collaborate!



  • Our graduate student Nathan Ranc received the "The International Union of Game Biologists (IUGB) Young Scientist Award for Best Oral Presentation" during the 33rd IUGB congress organized in Montpellier, France.  His presentation was entitled "The Golden Jackal (Canis aureus) in Europe: predicting habitat suitability of a rapidly establishing carnivore".  Congratulations, Nathan!


JUNE 2017

  • The Moorcroft Lab would like to recognize staff member, Erin Ciccone, on having donated more than three gallons of blood platelets for the pediatric patients at Boston Children’s Hospital. Great work, Erin!  Anyone interested in donating platelets or whole blood should contact the Blood Donor Center at 617-355-6677.

Erin Ciccone platelet dontation


  • Xiangtao Xu, while finishing up his PhD at Princeton, joined our lab as a Postdoc.  We are honored to have him (and his adorable baby!!) in our lab.



APRIL 2017

  • Congratulations to former Moorcroft Lab graduate student, Tom Powell, on the publication of his manuscript entitled "Differences in xylem and leaf hydraulic traits explain differences in drought tolerance among mature Amazon reainforest trees" which will be published in Global Change Biology.  Great work, Tom!



  • In January, grad student Miriam Johnston traveled to California to visit the Tonzi Ranch field site and collaborators at UC Berkeley and the Jet Propulsion Lab.  These visits were in support of her thesis research entitled "Diagnosis and consequences of plant stress in forest and woodland ecosystems."

View of Tonzi Ranch from the top of the flux tower





  • Congratulations to Moorcroft Lab grad student, Miriam Johnston, who has succesfully completed her qualifying exam.  Great work, Miriam!



  • Congratulations to Nathan Ranc, whose Master's thesis was just published online in Ecography!  You can view the article abstract here.



  • Moorcroft Lab graduate student, Nathan Ranc, traveled to the Fondazione Edmund Mach in Italy where he will be spending the next year conducting a field work project on roe deer spatial ecology.  We'll miss him but are very excited to hear about his research!



  • Congratulations to Moorcroft Lab graduate student, Fabio Farinosi, who successfully completed his Ph.D. at Ca’ Foscari University in Italy.  Fabio is now employed as a Scientific Officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.  We wish him all the best!


  • Nathan Ranc, attended the Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he gave a talk entitled, "Canid guild changes in Europe: Evidence for a continental-scale mesopredator release of golden jackal
    (Canis aureus)."  Click here to read the Abstract.


JUNE 2016

  • We would like to wish congratulations and good luck to Mauricio Arias who has completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard and has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department at the University of South Florida.


MAY 2016

  • Moorcroft Lab graduate student, Miriam Johnston, was recently awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) in support of her project entitled, “Improving terrestrial biosphere model predictions of coupled carbon, water, and energy fluxes using remotely sensed surface and vegetation temperatures.”  Congratulations to Miriam!
  • Congratulations also to our graduate student, Nathan Ranc, for successfully completing his qualifying exam.  Great job, Nathan!
  • Congratulations to our former graduate student, Tom Powell, whose paper entitled "When a Tree Dies in the Forest:  Scaling Climate-Driven Tree Mortality to Ecosystem Water and Carbon Fluxes" was published in the journal, Ecosystems.  The final publication is available at


APRIL 2016

  • Moorcroft Lab member and 2015–2016 Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Fellow in Conservation Biology, Francesca Cagnacci, will be giving a talk entitled "Mammals on the Move" at 6pm on Wednesday, April 13th.
  • The Moorcroft Lab is happy to welcome Johannes De Groeve who is joining us as part of an internship.  Johannes is a graduate student working jointly with the University of Ghent and Fondazione Edmund Mach.  The main objective of his research is to develop a methodology in the context of movement ecology and geography allowing researchers to analyze spatio-temporal patterns of animal movement trajectories, in a dynamically changing landscape.  Welcome, Johannes!


  • The Moorcroft Lab is very happy to announce that our former postdoc, Naomi Levine, is a recipient of a 2016 Sloan Research Fellowship.  Congratulations, Naomi!
  • Lab members, Mauricio Arias and Fabio Farinosi, are currently in Brazil conducting field research.  They will join former lab member, Fabio Pereira, and collaborator Angela Livino, on a tour of the Tapajos and Xingu Rivers and will visit three hydroelectric dams including the Belo Monte and two others located along the Teles Pires River.  We wish them fun and safe travels!





  • Members of the Moorcroft lab traveled to San Francisco, CA for the 2015 AGU Fall meeting which was held December 14-18.



  • Congratulations to Francesca Cagnacci and Nathan Ranc, whose paper entitled "MigrO: a plug-in for the analysis of individual mobility behavior based on the stay region model" was presented at the ACM SIGSPATIAL 2015 conference in Seattle, WA, USA, on 2-5 November 2015 and was named the Best DEMO award runner up!









  • The Moorcroft Lab is happy to welcome 2015-2016 Hrdy Fellow, Francesca Cagnacci, who will be working with us for the coming year.  Francesca is a behavioral and conservation ecologist with a focus on animal movement and terrestrial mammalogy. She will pursue the research objectives in the context of the Hrdy Fellowship in conservation biology in close collaboration with the Moorcroft Lab. In particular, she will investigate the effects of climate and global change on animal spatial distribution, by modelling individual movement and population space use patterns over heterogeneous landscapes exposed to climatic and human-induced changes.




  • Congratulations to Mauricio Arias and his wife, Mariana, who welcomed son, Lucas, on August 7th!  Best wishes to the Arias family!


JULY 2015

  • The Moorcroft Lab wishes a warm congratulations to Tom Powell who successfully defended his graduate thesis on July 27th. Tom will soon begin a position as a post doctoral fellow working on the DoE NGEE-Tropics project with Lara Kueppers and Jeff Chambers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Congrats and best wishes, Tom!

Tom Powell and Paul Moorcroft celebrating Tom's Thesis Defense

  • Congratulations to former lab member, Abby Swann, whose paper entitled "Future deforestation in the Amazon and consequences for South American climate" was accepted for publication in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Way to go, Abby!

JUNE 2015

  • The Moorcroft Lab was happy to welcome back graduate student, Nathan Ranc, who visited from his fieldwork site in Trento, Italy. Below are some very cool videos that Nathan shared with us which were taken during his time there. Enjoy!
  • Jackal
  • Bear 1
  • Bear 2
  • Bear 3

MAY 2015


  • The Moorcroft Lab was happy to welcome back former lab member, Fabio Pereira, and collaborator, Angela Livino, who traveled to Cambridge from Brazil to participate in meetings with their SSP colleagues.  
  • While here, they celebrated Fabio's birthday.  Happy birthday, Fabio!

Fabio Pereira Birthday Cake

APRIL 2015

MARCH 2015

  • Moorcroft Lab postdoc, Eunjee Lee, gave an invited talk, jointly sponsored by the Planetary Geodynamics, Hydrological Sciences, and Biospheric Sciences Laboratories at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on March 25, 2015. The title of the talk was "Impacts of Land-Use on the Hydrologic Cycle in the Amazon and in Southeastern Brazil."

  • The Moorcroft Lab is happy to welcome its newest member, Ashehad Ali, who joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in March. Welcome, Ashehad!

  • The Moorcroft Lab went cross country skiing at the Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle, MA. A fun time was had by all!

Moorcroft Lab Ski Trip



  • Moorcroft Lab grad student, Nathan Ranc, is curently doing fieldwork in the Adamello-Brenta mountain range (Italian Alps) as part of his PhD project on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in collaboration with the Autonomous Province of Trento (Italy) and  the Trentino Hunting Association (2C2T project). His first task is to rescue GPS collars, which are programmed to drop off the roe deer necks after their duty period has expired. These collars contain large amounts of spatial data, which could not be sent due to technical issues (e.g. no phone network, low battery...). In order to find them in the field, Ranc and his collaborators use telemetry techniques, which can be particularly challenging in a rugged terrain. Secondly, they are deploying several camera traps at feeding-stations deployed by hunters to better understand use patterns of this anthropogenic food source by roe deer. Finally, they are currently planning their capture sessions to deploy additional GPS collars. The capture success rate is dependent on thick snow cover and cold weather. The capture season has been delayed due to the very warm and beautiful weather Trentino has experienced in the past months, which is a sharp contrast with what his fellow lab members are enduring in Boston!



  • Five members of the Moorcroft group traveled to Brasilia, Brazil to participate in a workshop entitled “Sustainable Development of the Amazon and its Surrounding Regions: The Interplay of Changing Climate, Hydrology, and Land Use - Impacts on Hydropower Planning and Operation." The workshop, funded by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government's SSP Program was held December 3rd and 4th in conjunction with Brazil’s Electricity and Water agencies. During the meeting, the Moorcroft lab members presented their collaborative framework and modeling results and explored future collaborative opportunities.


  • The Moorcroft Lab would like to wish a hearty welcome incoming graduate student, Nathan Ranc. We're happy to have you, Nathan!

MARCH 2014

  • Congratulations to the Moorcroft Lab's faculty assistant, Erin, on the birth of her new baby! Jack Andrew Ciccone was born on March 7th and weighed in at 9lbs, 8oz. Congrats and best wishes to Mom and baby!



  • Congratulations to Mauricio Arias whose paper entitled "Dams on Mekong tributaries as significant contributors of hydrological alterations to the Tonle Sap Floodplain in Cambodia" was published in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences.

  • The Moorcroft Lab is happy to welcome three new members- Post Doctoral Fellows, Fabio Pereira and Mauricio Arias and Graduate Student, Fabio Farinosi. Welcome, guys!

MAY 2013

  • OEB grad student and Moorcroft Lab member, Tom Powell, published a paper entitled Confronting model predictions of carbon fluxes with measurements of Amazon forests subjected to experimental drought in the journal, New Phytologist. Way to go, Tom!


  • The Moorcroft group hosted the 2nd Annual ED2 Code Workshop in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Eight participants joined the code developers for this 2 1/2 day workshop to learn more about the ED2 model and run a series of exercises. Stay tuned to see if a third annual workshop is scheduled for next year!


  • Early this month several lab members traveled to Palo Alto, CA for the annual meeting of the Andes Amazon group at the Moore Foundation. Following this annual meeting many in the group attended the 45th annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

  • Dan Scott joined the lab as a temporary researcher on a new DoE project. Dan graduated from University of California at Berkeley in 2011 with degrees in Physics and Mathematics. Welcome, Dan!


  • Graduate student Tom Powell and his collaborators were awared the 2012 Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award for their paper entitled "Climate control of terrestrial carbon exchange across biomes and continents." This award was issed by the World Meteorological Organization and the paper was originally published in the 2010, Volume 5 issue of Environmental Research Letters. Congrats, Tom!


  • Beginning Fall 2013 Postdoc Naomi Levine will start her position as Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California (USC). Congratulations, Naomi!

  • The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B awarded Professor Moorcroft and his collaborators "outstanding publication in wildlife ecology and mangement" for his 2010 article, "The home range concept: are traditional estimators still relevant with modern telemetry technology?" Congratulations, Paul!



  • Postdoc Abby Swann has left the Moorcroft lab to join the University of Washington as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences. Best of Luck, Abby! Read more about Abby's new position here.

  • We are happy to welcome Dr. Eunjee Lee as a new postdoc in the Moorcroft lab. Eunjee comes to us from MIT, where she was a post-doctural research associate in the Center for Global Change Science. You can read more about Eunjee and her fellowship here.



  • Postdoc Alex Antonarakis and graduate student Tom Powell attended the Ecological Society of America Annual Confernce in Portland, OR.

JULY 2012


  • Graduate student Janice Chan and Paul Moorcroft traveled to Thailand for a site visit and field work.

APRIL 2012

  • Graduate student Tom Powell was awarded a $1000 travel grant through the NSF RCN FORECAST program to visit Professor David Medvigy of the Geosciences Department at Princeton University during the summer session of 2012.  David will be teaching Tom about the Markov Chain Monte Carlo optimization routine he developed for the Ecosystem Demography model.


  • Postdoc Abby Swann was featured in the Harvard Gazette for her research on the negative effects of replanting fields and grasslands with forests. The article can be viewed here. Congrats, Abby!



  • Graduate Student Thomas Powell returned to Caxiuana for nealy a month, continuing work on the fieldwork component of his dissertation research.


  • Two new graduate students have joined the Moorcroft lab. Alexandra Brown and Janice Chan are beginning their first year as Ph.D. candidates in the department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. Welcome Alex and Janice!

JULY 2011

  • Professor Moorcroft is on sabbatical for the academic year of 2011-2012.

  • Graduate student Tom Powell was awarded a NSF-DDIG to conduct the field component of his dissertation research.  Tom has four field campaigns to the Amazon forest to measure hydraulic traits related to drought tolerance for selected canopy trees.

MAY 2011

  • In May, the group spent several days at the Moore Foundation Grant Spring 2011 Andes-Amazon meeting in Belem, Brazil and Field Site visit in Caxiuana, Brazil. Graduate Student Thomas Powell stayed in Caxiuana for an additional three weeks, working on the fieldwork component of his dissertation research.

  • Shirley Xiaobi Dong graduated with her Ph.D and will be working in Washington, D.C. as a Business Consultant for Applied Predictive Technologies. Congratulations, Shirley!


  • Using Lidar and Radar measurements to constrain predictions of forest ecosystem structure and function, authored by Alex Antonarakis is now In Press with Ecological Applications. You can read the paper here.


  • Fall semester has begun and campus is buzzing! Shirley Dong returned from her summer internship in Geneva, and the lab welcomes new postdoctoral fellow Abby Swann. You can find out more about Abby and her research here.


  • A paper authored by lab member Alex Antonarakis and co-authored by Paul Moorcroft were accepted by the journal Ecological Applications. Stay tuned to our publications section for more information.

  • Paul Moorcroft attended the 95th Annual Ecological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The focus of this year's conference was Global Warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our future.

  • Moorcroft's Minions lost it's second play-off game, finishing with three wins for the summer 2010 season.

JULY 2010

  • Shirley Dong is in Geneva until September for an internship with UNEP. She will work on a project evaluating the impact of pesticides on aquatic ecosystems.

  • Two papers co-authored by Paul Moorcroft and former lab member James Forester are now available in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society's special issue "Challenges and opportunities of using GPS-based location data in animal ecology." You my find the entire issue here, or check the publications section to access the individual papers.

  • Paul Moorcroft taught a course at the Amazon-PIRE field course in Brazil. Graduate student Marcos Longo also attended. You can watch a slideshow of their adventures here.

JUNE 2010

  • Paul Moorcroft attended the Harvard Water Security Initiative meeting in Melbourne Australia. The project is a collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia. 

  • Shirley Dong and Paul Moorcroft have successfully installed two meteorological stations in Thailand.

  • Post-doc James Forester said goodbye to the lab and began his new faculty position at the University of Minnesota. Congratulations James! We'll miss you.

  • Paul Moorcroft discusses ED and in an article entitled "The Forest and the Trees: Will new models of land cover reveal the fate of tropical forests?" featured in the June 11 issue of UCAR Magazine.

  • The Moorcrof Lab volleyball team, Moorcroft's Minions, played their first game of the season in the Rhino League - and won!

APRIL 2010

  • Paul Moorcroft and several lab members attended the 6th Annual Harvard Plant Biology Symposium: Trees and the Global Environment on April 29th and 30th. You can watch much of the symposium here.

  • Paul Moorcroft presented at the Continuous-Time and Continuous-Space Processes in Ecology workshop at the Center for Research and Statistical Methodology at the University of Warwick. You can find his talk here.

  • A paper authored by Former Post-doc David Medvigy, and co-authored by Paul Moorcroft, appeared online this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the paper and supporting information here:Responses of terrestrial ecosystems and carbon budgets to current and future environmental variability.

  • Former lab research assisstant, Adrienne Keller, received the"Outstanding Graduate Student Presentation Award" at the 2010 University of Montana Research Conference. Go Adrienne!


  • Former Lab member, Takeshi Ise, will be Associate Professor in the Department of Holistic Simulation at the University of Hyogo. Currrently Takeshi is a researcher in Environmental Biogeochemical Cycle Researhc Program at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. His new position will begin in April, 2011.




  • James Forester discussed his research at the 2009 Ecological Society of America conference in a presentation titled "Mechanistic home range models for ungulates".

JUNE 2009

  • Shirley Dong received her MA on her way to the PhD.

MAY 2009

  • Paul Moorcroft was in Sapporo for four weeks thanks to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship.