UCL Division of Biosciences


Sergio Milheiras


Sergio Mileiras

Biodiversity is a vital component of multifunctional ecosystems.
If we are to effectively manage coupled social-ecological systems, key knowledge gaps need to be addressed to better understand the dynamics of ecosystem services in the context of biodiversity loss. 

My research focuses in the interactions between biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human wellbeing, and in the improvement of our capacity to manage that complex system, using the state of Amapá, Brazil, as a case-study. It will assess, using suitable indicators, the effectiveness of differently managed tropical forest areas in sustaining the provision of ecosystem services. Additionally, it will emphasize the impact that biodiversity loss is having on those services. 

From a policy perspective, the research will analyse the potential and actual challenges and impacts of policy measures, such as agri-environmental schemes, which can contribute to increase the effectiveness of sustainable use reserves (type of protected area under Brazilian law). 

The state of Amapá, located in the north of Brazil, is slightly larger than England and has 77% of its territory still covered by the Amazon forest. However, pressure from different drivers of deforestation is likely to strongly increase in the near future as a result of planned infrastructure developments. Therefore, the state is a good case-study to test and implement solutions for the management of conflicting land uses that prevent further biodiversity loss.