David Moreno Mateos

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture

David Moreno Mateos is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and an affiliate of the Department of Organismal and Evolutionary Biology at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

David is a restoration ecologist interested in understanding the long-term recovery of ecosystems degraded by human development. He is interested in estimating how long it takes for ecosystems to recover their less resilient attributes, like the interactions among soil organisms and plants. Understanding this will allow for the discovery of tools to increase the currently limited performance of ecosystem restoration, and increase our ecological understanding of landscape architecture. To do so, he investigates how the structure of species interactions and the deriving functionality of recovering ecosystems re-assemble over the long term. He works on areas degraded by human activities, agricultural fields and mines, abandoned centuries ago. Some of these field sites are the forests of New England, recovering from European settlement agriculture for about 200 years, and Southwest Greenland, where Norse sites have been recovering from ancient agriculture for more than 650 years. Along with these empirical approaches, he has extensive experience with meta-analysis to find global patterns of ecosystem response to restoration efforts and ecosystem recovery.

He is interested in bringing this ecological knowledge to design real ecosystems in landscape architecture. With this approach, designed ecosystems in urban and rural environments will be able to reach high levels of functionality, resilience, and adaptability to ongoing global changes. More information about David’s research can be found at DMM Research.

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