Estelle Darko profile picture

Estelle Georgia Darko

University of Birmingham


Forest Diversity, Dynamics and Resilience in a changing world


  • Dr Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Tom Matthews, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Laura Graham, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Tom Pugh, University of Birmingham and University of Lund
  • Professor Oliver Phillips, University of Leeds
  • Dr Carolina Tova, Kew Gardens
  • Dr Lindsay Banin, UKCEH

PhD Summary

I will be performing analyses at large-scales using data from forest inventory networks such as RAINFOR to investigate the effects of forest dynamics on diversity. For instance, I will be testing whether the range of species life history strategies within forest influence its diversity and the effects of diversity and dynamics on forest resilience. I will be applying a variety of metrics in order to determine how forests may potentially, variably, respond to climate driven disturbances.

Previous activity

I recently completed a MSci in Environmental Science at the University of Birmingham (2022).

Why did you choose doctoral research?

In the final year of my MSci I wasn’t exactly sure about whether I wanted to stay in research or look towards the graduate job market. However, when looking at listings for PhDs, I found they appealed much more to me than graduate work. The research projects covered topics I was passionate about and that I felt like I’d be able to positively contribute to society with.

Why did you choose CENTA?

The project was mentioned to me in person and sounded like a fascinating opportunity. Additionally it seemed I would be able to gain some industry understanding and take part in global research collaborations.

Future plans

I am not yet decided about my future path but I believe studying here will open up a wide array of potential paths and expose me to opportunities I may have not had otherwise.