Clarissa Fontes

Clarissa Fontes

Graduate Student

Institution: Dawson Lab


I completed a Bachelor in Forest Engineering at the University of Brasilia and for my senior thesis I studied species turnover across plant life stages in swamp gallery forests of Central Brazil. I also did a Master in Tropical Forest Sciences and for my Master dissertation I investigated the causes of tree death in the Amazon forest. The questions that I aimed to answer were (i) what are the patterns of tree mortality throughout the year? and (ii) what are the main causes of tree death in this forest? For my PhD I want to link aspects of the functional biology of the trees to the behavior of the forest, doing a “leaf to landscape” research. One part of my dissertation is to study plant hydraulic architecture of tropical plant communities in two different habitats (in relation to soil moisture). This work is being conducted in Central Amazon and I want to better understand the role of plant hydraulic strategies in species distribution at local and regional scales as well as how these different communities may be affected by climate change. For future work I’m interested in studying plant hydraulic strategies in flooded forests and white sand forest in the Amazon.

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