Virtual Public Lecture: David Moreno Mateos, “How ecosystems recover from ancient human impacts”

Clearing in a rainforest in Costa Rice surrounded by large trees

The GSD is pleased to present a series of talks and webinars broadcast to our audiences via Zoom.

*This lecture will be ONLINE ONLY. For security reasons, virtual attendees must register. Scroll down to find complete instructions for how to register.

Event Description

Major efforts are being implemented worldwide to restore ecosystems. However, the outcomes of restoration are uncertain. This uncertainty may be rooted in our lack of understanding on the reassembly of ecosystem complexity. Understanding how organisms rebuild their interactions and how functions derived form those interactions emerge is key to both evaluate and design future restoration. This is particularly relevant at the timescale at which ecosystem recovery operates, which may range from centuries to millennia. In this presentation, we will explore current patterns of ecosystem recovery of simple and complex attributes, why restored and undisturbed ecosystems are different, and particularly, why recovery is a long term process. Finally, we will hypothesize potential actions we can use to accelerate the recovery process that will bring more resilient and resistant ecosystems back.


David Moreno Mateos got his PhD from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Alcala, both in Madrid with honors (equivalent to summa cum laude) in 2008. After this, he spent three years at the University of California at Berkeley, two at Stanford University and one at the Centre National de la Recherché Scientific (CNRS) in Montpellier, France. During the last five years, he was at the Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3) near Bilbao, Spain, as an Ikerbasque and Ramon y Cajal research fellow. David have authored >40 papers in scientific journals and books, including papers in Nature Communications, Nature, PLOS Biology, or Nature Ecology and Evolution. He is Associate Editor in Journal of Applied Ecology (British Ecological Society) and Ecological Restoration (Society for Ecological Restoration).

How to Join

1. Have a Zoom account. Members of the Harvard community who have not yet set up their Zoom account can follow the instructions here. Guests without a Zoom account can set one up for free at

2. Register to attend the lecture here. Once you have registered, you will be provided with a link to join the lecture via Zoom. This link will also be emailed to you. Please make sure the email you use to register is the same email connected to your Zoom account.

The event will also be live streamed to the GSD's YouTube page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the events office at (617) 496-2414 or