Dr Encarni Montoya

NERC Research FellowMONTOYA_profile

Email: Encarni.Montoya-8AT8-open.ac.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 1908 858243

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I am NERC Research Fellow based on the Palaeoenvironmental Change Group (The Open University) since October 2012. Previously, I have worked at The Botanical Institute of Barcelona (CSIC-ICUB) and The Autonomous University of Barcelona as a postdoctoral researcher and PhD student respectively. Undergraduate works were carried out in the departments of Ecology and Botany, at The University of Murcia, my hometown.


I work in the palaeoecology of Neotropical ecosystems mainly focused on Late Glacial environmental change. My research is related to the vegetation response produced by climatic changes, natural hazards and human occupation. For this purpose, I mainly use pollen, microscopic charcoal and non-pollen palynomorphs analyses (complemented with data from other disciplines including biogeography, archaeology and anthropology). Specifically, main topics of my research are:

  1. Past vegetation responses to environmental change
  2. Non-anthropogenic versus anthropogenic causes of palaeoecological change
  3. Quaternary in the Neotropics
  4. Tropical ecology and palaeoecology
  5. Global change from a palaeoclimatic perspective
  6. Socio-ecological systems response to natural hazards and climate change

In this sense, the use of long-term perspectives of the past is essential to develop new understandings of ecological processes. Moreover, I am particularly concerned about the socioeconomic impacts of climatic change, which in the Neotropics could reach catastrophic levels. I love the utility of palaeoecology not only as a tool for past landscape reconstructions, but also for management and conservation purposes that could be implemented in the use of taxa with economic value, or in facing natural hazards.

Within the Palaeoenvironmental Change Group, I am part of the Tropical Palaeoecology group. For more info, please visit our ecology of the past blog and website.

Also, I am involved through regular collaboration and shared PhD students’ supervision with PALAB, and I am a member of the Humans and Biosphere Commission (HabCom) of the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA).

For a list of my publications, please visit my publications list.

Study areas

Main study areas so far are:

Neotropical highlands (Andes) and midlands (Gran Sabana, High Amazonia): Venezuela and Ecuador

Europe: Pyrenees

Ongoing Research Projects

Evaluation of Tropical Forests Sensitivity to Past Climate Change (FORSENS). Natural Environment Research Council, UK (NE/J018562/1). PI: Encarni Montoya. Duration: 2012 – 2015.

CELL-50k initiative (IFG status) from INTIMATE group (EU Cost Actions, INQUA). PI: Simon Blockey. Duration: 2012-2015.

Reconstruyendo la historia de los bosques pirenaicos para mejorar su gestión y predecir su respuesta al cambio climático (RECREO). Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino; O. A. de Parques Nacionales (OAPN-387/2011). PI: Jesús J. Camarero (Instituto Pirenaico de Ecología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas). Duration: 2012 - 2014.

Recent publications