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 Mateus Silva

Mateus Silva

PhD Student

 +55 11 95597- 4392

 Laver Building 


Laver Building, University of Exeter, North Park Road, Exeter, EX4 4QE, UK


I am a WWF/Exeter Alumni Ph.D. student based at the University of Exeter. I undertook my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Brazil focusing on the ecology and conservation of Brazil’s megadiverse savannas, the Cerrado biome. I have a particular interest in improving our capacity to predict the outcomes of Cerrado restoration efforts under current and future scenarios of global change. Specifically, my M.Sc. project aimed to compare the functional diversity of a restored versus an old-growth savanna as a part of a UK-Brazil partnership seeking strategies to restore Brazil’s seasonal dry ecosystems (NERC grant NE/S000011/1, FAPESP grant 19/07773-1). My M.Sc. collaborators and I uncovered the traits related to drought tolerance and productivity following restoration, providing novel insights into how to design climate-smart restoration action for the Cerrado biome.

My research in the Ph.D. aims to improve restoration efforts in the Brazilian Cerrado to tackle biodiversity loss and build climatic resilience, now on a large-scale. I will mix field-based plant functional trait data with species distribution modeling to tailor restoration interventions to harbor species-rich communities today and in the future. I will use my previously developed statistical and programming skills, local flora knowledge, and research network to achieve the Ph.D. goals. My current research project will support a new WWF app that aims to guide landowners in the Cerrado region to undertake efficient and climate-adapted restoration projects.

Broad Research Specialisms

Nature-Based Solutions, Ecological Restoration, Biodiversity Conservation, Climate Change, Biodiversity-Ecosystem Function, Invasion Biology, Plant Functional Traits & Physiology, Species Distribution & Abundance.


2019 to 2021

Master’s (M.Sc.) in Ecology at State University of Campinas,Brazil. Supervised by Rafael Oliveira and Lucy Rowland. Project “Using plant traits to assess restoration outcomes in a Brazilian savanna” associated to the project “Restoring neo-tropical dry ecosystems - is plant functional composition the key to success?” sponsored by Brazil-UK partnership (FAPESP Grant 19/07773-1 and NERC Grant NE/S000011/1). Including an internship at the University of Exeter sponsored by Cambridge’s Student Conference in Conservation Science (ID 1652/SCCS2020).

2014 to 2018

Bachelor (B.Sc.) in Biology at Federal University of Lavras, Brazil. Supervised by Eduardo van den Berg. Project: “Controls of aboveground biomass in gallery forests of southeast Brazil”.


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