Laia Andreu Hayles' research focuses on the study of the interactions between forests and the environment and on reconstructing past climate conditions using tree rings and isotopic geochemistry. Warming temperatures associated with global climate change are having dramatic and profound impacts on forests, and her research centers on assessing these changes across several key regions of the planet. She is currently conducting research in boreal, tropical, Central Asian and Mediterranean regions, which are ‘hot spots’ of current climate and environmental change.
The impact of human activities on the environment and the climate system is indisputable. A knowledge-based understanding of such global environmental changes is paramount, and my research centers on assessing these changes across several regions of the planet. Specifically, I use tree rings and isotopic geochemistry to: (1) estimate climate conditions prior to the existence of instrumental records (i.e. paleoclimate) and (2) assess the response of forests to natural and anthropogenic changes in the climate and to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). My multidisciplinary research embraces atmospheric sciences and ecology, and has provided insights on past interactions between the climate and land ecosystems. I am currently conducting research in boreal, tropical, Central Asia and Mediterranean regions, which are ‘hot spots’ of current climate and environmental changes.