I lead the only research group in Norway focusing on tropical rainforest ecology and conservation. I have been invited to spend part of my sabbatical year at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, UK. This school embraces one of the world's most productive and successful tropical ecology research groups. I am applying for support to spend 6 months of my sabbatical year with them. A major aim is to start a long-term research collaboration between the two groups. We have a unique o pportunity, because both groups operate around similar topics and have amassed data based on several large-scale projects.
One subject area of convergent interest for the two research groups is Amazonian floodplain forests. These ecosystems are highly t hreatened and are likely to be strongly affected by global climate change. A large void in our existing knowledge is the role of Amazonian floodplain forest in the global carbon budget, and how future changes in the hydrological regime of vast catchments due to climate change may affect floodplain forest dynamics and their carbon balance. A major objective of the personal overseas research grant is to develop a multi-faceted research plan for investigating synergies between climate change and floodplain f orest, and undertake some initial research investigations. In addition to strengthening the international relations of my research group, the stay abroad is expected to be highly beneficial for my personal academic development.