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Dr Daniel Kelly

Professor Daniel Kelly Department of Botany,
School of Natural Sciences,
Trinity College Dublin,
Dublin2, Ireland

Tel: +353 1 8961809


I am a plant ecologist whose research centres on forests and woodlands – the most complex of terrestrial ecosystems. I explore the patterns in plant community composition and the environmental factors that govern them. My research is driven by a fascination with the diversity of the plant kingdom, and extends from trees down to the Lilliputian world of mosses & liverworts. My research is also driven by the practical challenges of managing forests and other semi-natural habitats sustainably: how to achieve a balance between pressing human needs and the long-term safeguarding of biodiversity.

Current Research and Research Opportunities

My research continues to be divided between Ireland and the New World Tropics. Irish research involves long-term monitoring of a network of permanent plots and experimental exclosures. In  Honduras, studies on Cusuco National Park have revealed a remarkable and poorly-known flora (including a hitherto unknown genus of tree). Work has recently extended to the epiphyte communities, involving Ph.D. student and expert tree-climber Sven Batke.


My teaching involves an emphasis on hands-on experience, with as much field-work as the curriculum will allow. I teach ecology at different levels, culminating in a 4th-year Plant Community Ecology course. This starts with a field trip in which data are collected by the class; these data form the basis for analysis in successive labs using a range of techniques. I also teach a course in Diversity & Evolution which involves an exploration of the Plant Kingdom from the lowliest algae up to the loftiest conifers

Selected Publications

Coote, L., French, L.J., Moore, K.M., Mitchell, F.J.G. & Kelly, D.L.(2012). Can plantation forests support plant species and communities of semi-natural woodland? Forest Ecology and Management 283: 86-95

Power, E.F., Kelly, D.L. & Stout, J.C. (2012). Organic Farming and Landscape Structure: Effects on Insect-Pollinated Plant Diversity in Intensively Managed Grasslands. PLoS ONE 7(5): e38073. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038073

Cayuela, L.; Gálvez-Bravo, L.; Pérez Pérez, R.; Albuquerque, F.S.; Golicher, D.J.; Zahawi, R.A.; Ramírez-Marcial, N.; Garibaldi, C.; Field, R.; Rey Benayas, J.M.; González-Espinosa, M.; Balvanera, P.; Castillo, M.A.; Figueroa-Rangel, B.L.; Griffith, D.M.; Islebe, G.A.; Kelly, D.L.; Olvera-Vargas, M.; Schnitzer, S.A.; Velázquez, E.; Williams-Linera, G.; Brewer, S.W., Camacho-Cruz, A.; Coronado, I.; de Jong, B.; del Castillo, R.; Granzow-de la Cerda, I.; Fernández, J.; Fonseca, W.; Galindo-Jaimes, L.; Gillespie, T.W., González-Rivas, B.; Gordon, J.E.; Hurtado, J.; Linares, J.; Letcher, S.G.; Mangan, S.A.; Meave, J.A.; Méndez, V.E.; Meza, V.; Ochoa-Gaona, S.; Peterson, C.J.; Ruiz-Gutierrez, V.; Snarr, K.A.; Tun Dzul, F.; Valdez-Hernández, M.; Viergever, K.M.; White, D.A.; Williams, J.N.; Bonet, F.J.; Zamora, R. (2012). The Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET): Prospects for biodiversity research and conservation in the Neotropics. Biodiversity and Ecology, 4, 211-224.

Kelly, D.L. & Jeffrey, D.W. (eds.) (2011). Trees of Trinity College Dublin (3rd edn.) The Department of Botany, Trinity College Dublin. 52 pp.
Ulloa Ulloa, C., Nickrent, D.L., Whitefoord, C. &  Kelly, D.L. (2010) Hondurodendron, a new monotypic genus of Aptandraceae from Honduras. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 97, 457-467.
Perrin, P. M., Mitchell, F. J. G. & Kelly, D. L. (2011). Long-term deer exclusion in yew-wood and oakwood habitats in southwest Ireland: Changes in ground flora and species diversity. Forest Ecology and Management, 262, 2328-2337.

French, L.J., Smith, G.F., Kelly, D.L., Mitchell, F.J.G., O’Donoghue, S., Iremonger, S.F. & McKee, A.-M. (2008). Ground flora communities in temperate oceanic plantation forests and the influence of silvicultural, geographic and edaphic factors. Forest Ecology & Management, 255, 476-494.

Smith, G.F., Gittings, T., Wilson, M.W., French, L., Oxbrough, A., O'Donoghue, S., O'Halloran, J., Kelly, D.L., Mitchell, F.J.G., Kelly, T.C., Iremonger, S., McKee, A.-M. & Giller, P.S. (2008). Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests. Biodiversity and Conservation, 17, 991-1015.

Coote, L., Smith, G.F., Kelly, D.L., O’Donoghue, S., Dowding, P., Iremonger, S. & Mitchell, F.J.G. (2007). Epiphytes of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) plantations in Ireland and the effects of open spaces. Biodiversity Conservation, 16, 4009-4024.

Kelly, D.L. (2006). Woodland on the western fringe: Irish oakwood diversity and the challenges of conservation. Journal of the Botanical Society of Scotland, 57, 21-40.

Kelleher, C.T., Hodkinson, T.R., Douglas, G.C. & Kelly D.L. (2005). Species Distinction in Irish Populations of Quercus petraea and Q. robur: Morphological Versus Molecular Analyses. Annals of Botany, 96, 1237-1246

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Last updated 22 June 2015