Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila

|Assistant Professor
Academic Appointments
  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

  • Graduate Program in Ecology, Evolution, Environment and Society

  • E.E. Just Faculty Fellow

Connect with Us

Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Dávila (he/él) is a terrestrial ecosystems ecologist studying the response of ecosystems to global environmental change. Joseph joined the faculty at Dartmouth College as an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies in Fall 2024 as an E.E. Just Faculty Fellow. Joseph is also affiliated with the Graduate Program in Ecology, Evolution, Ecosystems and Society (EEES). Prior to joining Dartmouth, Joseph was 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. 

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.


Steele, Room 103
HB 6182


Environmental Studies


  • Ph.D. 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

Selected Publications

  • Bachofen C, Tumber-Dávila SJ, Mackay DS, McDowell NG, Carminati A, Klein T, Stocker BD, Mencuccini M, Grossiord C. Tree water uptake patterns across the globe. New Phytololgist. 2024.

  • Laughlin DC, Siefert A, Fleri JR, Tumber‐Dávila SJ, Hammond WM, Sabatini FM, Damasceno G, Aubin I, Field R, Hatim MZ, Jansen S. Rooting depth and xylem vulnerability are independent woody plant traits jointly selected by aridity, seasonality, and water table depth. New Phytologist. 2023 Dec;240(5):1774-87.

  • 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.

  • 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.

+ View more

Speaking Engagements

  • "Why Forests are Essential for Us and the Planet." Upper-Valley Forest and Conservation Collaborative. Hanover, NH, April, 2024 (Invited Oral Presentation and Panel Event)

  • "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)

Selected Works & Activities


Media Appearances

The Dartmouth. "Freeze-thaw cycle causes early mud season in Hanover." February 19, 2024.

Northern Woodlands. "A Stormy Future for Carbon Offsets." January 26, 2024.

The Dartmouth. "Dartmouth welcomes 43 new faculty members." January 4, 2024.

New Scientist. "Hurricane damage to forests could release huge amount of stored carbon." December 27, 2023.

Radio Usach. “All you need is lab.” July, 29, 2021.

Kayla Hathaway. “Cimpatico TV Climate Spotlight Interview.” November 16, 2020.

Stanford Earth Insiders. “Q&A: What does it mean to be Latinx in the geosciences?” September 22, 2020.

Stanford Spotlights: “Paying it forward in science.” May 28, 2018.

OMA. “Stanford Earth SURGE Alumni: Where Are They Now?” August 4, 2016.

Stanford News Reports. “Stanford summer program brings more diversity to the earth sciences.” August 26, 2014.

UNH Today. “Shersingh Joseph Tumber-Davila ’15.” January 20, 2014.