Dr Thiago Silva

Lecturer Environmental Informatics

Biological and Environmental Sciences Faculty of Natural Sciences University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK

Dr Thiago Silva

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About me

I am a multi/inter/trans-disciplinary scientist constantly alternating between the states of Ecologist, Geoscientist and Computer Scientist. I am fascinated by Nature's mechanisms and by understanding what makes Ecosystem 'tick'. I have been a Lecturer in Ecosystem Change and Environmental Informatics at University of Stirling since 2019. I am also a National Geographic Explorer an Associate Editor for the [Global Ecology and Biogeography] (https://www.wiley.com/en-gb/Global+Ecology+and+Biogeography-p-9780JRNL60183) journal.

My science focus is on how plant communities and ecosystems assemble and function in complex abiotic environments like wetlands and other strongly seasonal ecosystems. I also believe ecology should focus less on "species" and more on functions and mechanisms.

My work combines fieldwork, automated ins situ monitoring, Earth Observation / Remote Sensing and a lot of coding (R, Python, and others). Lately I've been really interested in:

  1. Pushing the envelope of orbital and UAV (drone) based ecological remote sensing to understand plant community structure and composition.

  2. Designing low-cost open sensing hardware using single board computers, microcontrollers and 3D printing to acquire high-frequency automated data on microclimate, phenology and acoustics.

  3. Integrating game design methods and development frameworks into ecological modelling and education, and especially in using VR/AR/XR for science data exploration.



  • 2003–¬2009 Ph.D., Geography. University of Victoria, Canada.

  • 2002–¬2003 M.Sc., Remote Sensing. National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil.

  • 1998–¬2002 B.Sc. (Hons.), Biology. Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Brazil.

Professional Experience

2019–present Lecturer. University of Stirling, UK. Division of Biological and Environmental Sciences.

2013–2019 Assistant Professor. São Paulo State University (UNESP), Brazil. Geography Department, Institute for Geosciences and Mathematical Sciences

2010–2013 Postdoctoral Researcher. National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil. Remote Sensing Division

2009–2010 Postdoctoral Researcher. University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), USA. Earth Research Institute.

2009–2010 Sessional Lecturer. Camosun College, Canada. Geography Department

2009–2010 Sessional Lecturer. University of Victoria, Canada. Geography Department

2003–2009 Teaching Assistant. University of Victoria, Canada. Geography Department

Grants and Awards

2018– present NSF DEB. Aquatic metabolism and carbon dioxide flux: Linking physical and biological processes in Amazon floodplains.

2018–present Brazilian Council for Scientific Research (CNPq). Using managed pollinators to support conservation and sustainable açai production in the Amazon estuary region.

2017–present National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration. Spatial and temporal carbon dynamics in Amazonian várzea forests: the role of flood dynamics and landscape heterogeneity.

2013–present Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Assessment of PALSAR-2 SAR imagery for monitoring inundation and vegetation distribution, biomass and phenology in the Amazon floodplain wetlands.

2017–present NASA. Methane fluxes from tropical aquatic systems: integration of measurements, hydrological and biogeochemical models and remote sensing.

2014– 2019 São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). e-phenology: combining new technologies to monitor phenology from leaves to ecosystems.

2017–2019 São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP). Application of UAV High-Resolution Digital Elevation Models in Geology and Geomorphology.

2016–2019 USAID PEER. History and diversification of floodplain forest bird communities in Amazonia: towards an integrated conservation plan.

2012–2017 NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity /São Paulo Research Foundation BIOTA. Assembly and evolution of the Amazon biota: an integrative approach. 2013–2016 Brazilian Council for Scientific Research (CNPq). Modeling the primary productivity of herbaceous vegetation in the Amazon floodplains: a multiscale approach.

2014–2016 Impacts of floods and droughts on aquatic macrophytes, forests, and fisheries of central Amazonian river floodplains. US$ 20,000 (US$ 1.M total). Role: Co-I. PI: Leandro Castello, Virginia Tech.

2014-2015 UNESP Competitive Research Startup Grant. Environmental applications of low cost unmanned aerial vehicles.

2010–2013 São Paulo Research Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. Modeling of the spatial dynamics of macrophyte communities in the Amazon floodplain.

Research programmes

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