Diego P.F. Trindade

Diego P.F. Trindade

PhD Student

University of Tartu

About me

I’m a PhD student at the University of Tartu, Estonia. My PhD studies focus on understanding how global changes affect species gains and losses (biodiversity change) across space and time. In order to understand those changes, in a spatiotemporal context, I’m assessing how both observed and dark diversity dynamics are changing over time (the latter defined as “currently absent species that could potentially inhabit a study site”). With dark diversity, it is possible to decompose species gains and losses into two space‐related components: one associated with local dynamics (species moving from observed to dark diversity and vice versa) and another related to gains and losses of site‐specific species pool (species moving to and from the pool after regional immigration, regional extinction or change in local ecological conditions). This decomposition might improve the way we detect biodiversity change and disequilibrium dynamics (e.g. extinction debt and colonization credit). To apply and test those ideas I’m using mechanistic models, multi-taxa and long-term databases (plants, birds, lichens, pollen etc.).


  • Macroecology
  • Global change ecology
  • Functional ecology


  • PhD student, 2017-current

    University of Tartu

  • Msc in Plant Ecology, 2015-2017

    Federal University of Pernambuco

  • BSc in Biological Science, 2010-2014

    State University of Southwest Bahia

Recent Publications

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Anthropogenic disturbances, climatic changes and future biota of the Caatinga (Long-Term Ecological Research Program - CNPq Process Number 403770 / 2012-2)

The present project aims to assess how human disturbance and changes in rainfall regime affect the Caatinga ecosystem’s biota at different levels of biological organization (i.e, from populations to ecosystem level), by correlating these aspects with the theoretical reference shown in macro trends already documented in the tropics.

IUT20-29 - Dark diversity: taxonomic, phylogenetic, functional and genetic levels in dynamic plant communities (1.01.2014−31.12.2019)

Biodiversity is associated with a variety of ecosystem functions that have a direct effect on human well-being. We have introduced the concept of dark diversity (absent species in a region that can potentially inhabit a local habitat) in order to elucidate better biodiversity patterns and processes.

PRG609: Observed and dark diversity of plant communities within the global network DarkDivNet: variation across natural and anthropogenic gradients and potential applications (1.01.2020−31.12.2024)

Loss of biodiversity threatens human well-being; we urgently need a better understanding how biodiversity varies along natural and anthropogenic gradients at local and regional scales and its underlying mechanisms.