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Yicheng Shen

Areas of interest

  • Fire
  • Plant traits
  • Climate change

Research centres and groups



Research projects

Optimality approaches linking fire-related plant traits and ecosystem responses to climate change.

Many woody species in fire prone regions exhibit traits that enable them either to resist or to survive wildfires. However, there has been little systematic evaluation of the environmental controls that determine the geographic distribution of these traits, and so we have little understanding of how this might change in the future as extreme wildfire events become more common. Furthermore, there has been no investigation of how the deployment of these traits affects the speed of ecosystem recovery after fire events. Improvements in our ability to model the consequences of future fire regimes is crucially dependent on incorporating these two phenomena in vegetation-fire models. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a theoretical model of plant behaviour in response to environmental gradients, including the incidence of fire, that can be used to predict the impact of fire on ecosystems. This PhD project is fully funded by the Lemontree grant to Professor Sandy Harrison and will also contribute to the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society.


Professor Sandy Harrison (University of Reading)

Professor Colin Prentice (Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society)


I hold a BA in Environmental Science from the China Pharmaceutical University (China) and an MRes (with Distinction) in Ecosystem and Environmental change from the Imperial College London. My MRes dissertation studied the relationships between fire, vegetation, climate and human beings and I built a present-day GLM fire model to explore fire relationships and developed a novel method of palaeofire reconstructions.


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