Shersingh J. Tumber-Dávila
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila (he/él) is a terrestrial ecosystems ecologist studying the response of ecosystems to global environmental change. Currently, Joseph is the LTER Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Forest, Harvard University, and he received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University as well as his B.S. in Environmental Conservation and Sustainability from the University of New Hampshire. In January 2024, Joseph will join the faculty at Dartmouth College as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies.
Joseph's research program as an ecologist investigates global environmental change effects on terrestrial ecosystems, plant functional traits, and subsequent consequences for global carbon cycling and policy. As a terrestrial ecosystem ecologist, Joseph's unique, interdisciplinary, approach spans regional and global scale experiments, syntheses, and modeling. His ecological research program addresses the following pressing knowledge gaps in our understanding of how plants influence the global carbon cycle: 1) the above- to belowground allometry of plants, their carbon cycle implications, and their interactions with the environment, and 2) the impact of climate change on regional disturbance regimes and the downstream consequences for forest carbon sequestration, and 3) the use of forest carbon as a nature-based climate solution to meet policy and climate mitigation goals. Climate change policy has many important societal and environmental justice implications, which are at the forefront of Joseph's ecological framework and scientific philosophy. Additionally, rooted in his philosophy and experiences as a Puerto Rican scientist, he collaboratively fosters diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and belonging in the academy through his scholarship. Beyond his research, Joseph is passionate about teaching, mentoring, science communication, and outreach, driven by his desire to build community and support the next generation of ecologists. Joseph is actively collaborating to make the field of ecology inclusive through revisiting our use of language and through introspective investigations into what it means to be an ecologist and a scientist.
- Phd. Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University, 2021
- M.S. Earth System Science, Stanford University, 2019
- B.S. Environmental Conservation and Sustainability, Minor in Forestry, University of New Hampshire, 2015
Stocker BD, Tumber-Dávila SJ, Konings AG, Anderson MB, Hain C, Jackson RB. Global patterns of water storage in the rooting zones of vegetation. Nature Geoscience. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-023-01125-2
Cheng, SJ, Gaynor KM, Moore AC, Darragh K, Estien CO, Hammond JW, Mills KL, Lawrence C, Baiz MD, Khadempour L, McCary MA, Ignace D, Rice MM, Tumber-Dávila SJ, Smith JA. Championing inclusive terminology in ecology and evolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2022.12.011
Feldman A, Gianotti D, Dong J, Akbar R, Crow W, McColl K, Nippert J, Tumber-Dávila SJ, Holbrook NM, Rockwell F, Scott R. Remotely Sensed Soil Moisture Can Capture Dynamics Relevant to Plant Water Uptake. Water Resources Research. 2023. e2022WR033814. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022wr033814
Tumber-Dávila, SJ, Schenk, HJ, Du, E, Jackson, RB. Plant sizes and shapes above- and belowground and their interactions with climate. New Phytologist. 2022. 235: 1032-1056. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.18031
"Hurricanes pose a major risk to New England forest carbon." ESA Meeting. Portland, OR. August 8, 2023 (Contributed Oral Presentation)
"Championing Inclusive Terminology in Ecology and Evolution." ESA+CSEE Meeting. Montreal, CA. August 17, 2022 (Invited Oral Presentation)
"Plants & Climate Change: Unearthing the Ecology of Root Systems and the Future of Forest Carbon." Boston University Biology Department. Boston, MA. April 25, 2022. (Invited Seminar)
"Ecology Rooted in Lived Experiences." SUNY Cortland Artist & Lecture Series. Cortland, NY. March 28, 2022. (Invited Seminar)
"Getting to the root of it: Research advances in belowground ecology." MIT Climate + Ecology Lab. Cambridge, MA. February 23, 2022. (Invited Seminar)
"Approaches to make the Geosciences more Inclusive: Highlighting Student-Led initiatives." AGU Fall Meeting. New Orleans, LA. December 15, 2021. ED31A-03 (Invited Oral Presentation)
"Roots: The hidden half of plant carbon." Biogeochemistry Seminar. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. November 10, 2021. (Invited Seminar)
"Unearthing the rooted world beneath our feet: A global analysis of the size and shape of plant root systems." Harvard Forest Seminar Series. October 27, 2021. (Invited Seminar)
"Building research communities and networks across ALL of the Américas: One discussion at a time." ESA Annual Meeting Inspire Session. Virtual Meeting, 2021. (Invited Oral Presentation)
"Forging a Path: Isotopes in Ecology." Macalester College Environmental Studies Program. February 24, 2021. (Invited Guest Lecture)
"Plant volumetric allometry and shape above- and belowground." AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA, 2020. B074-05. (Oral Presentation)
"Pertenecer: Introducing academic and geoscience careers to youth from under-served communities." AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA, 2020. ED017-08. (Oral Presentation)
"Actionable Steps Towards Building Anti-Racist & Inclusive Lab Groups." Behavioral Decisions and the Environment Group Meeting. Stanford University. July 20, 2020. (Invited Seminar)
"The form and function of plant root systems." Soil and Environmental Biogeochemistry Meeting. Stanford University. May 20, 2020. (Invite Seminar)
"The size and shape of global plant root systems." AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA, 2019. (Oral Presentation)
"You Belong: Empowerment, Education, & Environment Program at Stanford Earth." AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA, 2019. (Oral Presentation)
"Grand Challenges: LatinX Representation in the Geosciences." AGU Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA, 2019. (Invited Oral Presentation)
Works In Progress
Tumber-Dávila, SJ, Ouimette, AP, Vadeboncouer, MA, Lu, M, Asbjornsen, H, Ollinger, SV, Jackson, RB. The root system distributions and water uptake strategies of codominant trees in a northern temperate forest undergoing prolonged drought stress. (In Prep)
Tumber-Dávila, SJ, Schenk, HJ, Lu, F, Jackson, RB. The above- to belowground volume and biomass allometry of woody plants. (In Prep)
Malhotra A, JA Moore, S Weintraub, K Georgiou, A Asefaw-Berhe, S Billings, M-A de Graaff, JM Fraterrigo, S Grandy, E Kyker-Snowman, M Lu, C Meier, D Pierson, SJ Tumber-Dávila, K Lajtha, WR Wieder, RB Jackson. Root and soil carbon relationships across continental scales. (In Prep)
Selected Works & Activities
Radio Usach. “All you need is lab.” July, 29, 2021. http://www.radio.usach.cl/noticias/lo-mas-reciente/joseph-tumber-davila-en-5-a-10-anos-mas-ya-no-habra-temporada-de.
Kayla Hathaway. “Cimpatico TV Climate Spotlight Interview.” November 16, 2020. https://youtu.be/dTI50T_avoI.
Stanford Earth Insiders. “Q&A: What does it mean to be Latinx in the geosciences?” September 22, 2020. https://earth.stanford.edu/news/qa-what-does-it-mean-be-latinx-geosciences#gs.eu2hmj.
Stanford Spotlights: “Paying it forward in science.” May 28, 2018. https://earth.stanford.edu/spotlights/paying-it-forward-science#gs.eu2g45.
OMA. “Stanford Earth SURGE Alumni: Where Are They Now?” August 4, 2016. https://earth.stanford.edu/news/stanford-earth-surge-alumni-where-are-they-now#gs.eu0k8f.
Stanford News Reports. “Stanford summer program brings more diversity to the earth sciences.” August 26, 2014. https://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/august/surge-earth-sciences-082614.html.
UNH Today. “Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Davila ’15.” January 20, 2014. https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/2014/01/shersingh-joseph-tumber-davila-15.