Doctor Manuel Esperon

Manuel joined the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the project “Which Plant Where” in the module ‘Successes and failures’. The project is funded by the Hort Frontiers Green Cities Fund, part of the Hort Frontiers strategic partnership initiative developed by Hort Innovation, with co-investment from Macquarie University, Western Sydney University and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and contributions from the Australian Government. The Which Plant Where project is a five-year series of research that will find out where current favourites are unlikely to thrive under the more extreme climates that Australian cities face, learn from past successes, and stress-test major landscape species to find opportunities for new species and varieties to be planted.

Manuel did his doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). His project assessed vulnerability to climate change in the cloud forest in Mexico. His research mainly focused on plant ecophysiological responses to climate change; however, being concern about the local human population, he also assessed the socio-economic vulnerability in the region.  During his Ph. D, Manuel demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry by given the lectures of Ecology and Biodiversity. He also is skilled in plant ecology, urban ecology, vulnerability, environmental awareness, climate change, and climatology.

Manuel moved to Australia in 2015, when he joined Macquarie University as a Visiting Associated and later as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the project “Identifying likely climate refugia and corridors to support species range shifts”, part of the Biodiversity Node - Adapt NSW and funded by the Office of Environmental Heritage. During this project, Manuel developed skills in species distribution modeling and research leadership.

Manuel is interested in species responses to climatic and environmental changes, and his current areas of research mainly focus on urban ecology, landscape ecology, vulnerability and climate change. The main goals of his current project are to assess the factors that contribute to the success or failure of urban plantings and the additional benefits that urban greening brings to the cities, such as greater biodiversity, cleaner air and cooler temperatures and associated benefits to human health and well-being.

Supervision Opportunities

There are supervision opportunities for the module ‘Successes and failure’ from the Which plan where? Project. Potential Ph.D. and master students interested in working on urban ecology, climate change, and ecophysiology are welcome to contact me.

Teaching expertise

Lecture Ecology 2014, UNAM, Mexico
Lecture Ecology 2014, Teaching assistant, Lincoln University, NZ
Lecture Biodiversity 2015, UNAM, Mexico
Lecture Ecology 2015, UNAM, Mexico
Tutoring Ecology 2016, Macquarie University, Australia

Selected publications

Submitted manuscripts

Baumgartner JB, Esperón-Rodríguez M, Beaumont LJ. Identifying in situ climate refugia for plants.

Miranda-García JA, Ballinas M, Esperón-Rodríguez M, Barradas VL. Redesigning urban parks in Mexico City: A bioclimatic approach

Esperón-Rodríguez M, Baumgartner JB, Berthon K, Beaumont LJ, , Carnegie A, Alfonzetti MA, Barradas VL, Leishman M. What is the risk of Myrtaceae being threatened by myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) in Mexico?

Sánchez Falfán A, Esperón-Rodríguez M, Cervantes Perez J, Ballinas M, Barradas VL. How important is the fog and the cloud forest as a water supply in Eastern Mexico?

Esperón-Rodríguez M; Baumgartner J, Berthon K, Beaumont LJ, Carnegie A, Alfonzetti MA, Barradas VL, Leishman M. What is the risk of Myrtaceae being threatened by myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) in Mexico?

Published articles

Berthon K, Esperon-Rodriguez M, Beaumont LJ, Carnegie AJ, Leishman MR, (2018) 'Assessment and prioritisation of plant species at risk from myrtle rust (Austropuccinia psidii) under current and future climates in Australia', Biological Conservation, vol.218, pp 154-162

Esperon-Rodriguez M, Curran TJ, Camac JS, Hofmann RW, Correa-Metrio A, Barradas VL, (2018) 'Correlation of drought traits and the predictability of osmotic potential at full leaf turgor in vegetation from New Zealand', Austral Ecology, vol.43, no.4, pp 397-408

Hageer Y, Esperón-Rodríguez M, Baumgartner JB, Beaumont LJ, (2017) 'Climate, soil or both? Which variables are better predictors of the distributions of Australian shrub species?', PeerJ, vol.5, Article no. e3446

Loreto D, Esperón-Rodríguez M, Barradas VL, (2017) 'The climatic-environmental significance, status and socio-economic perspective of the shade-grown coffee agroecosystems in the central mountain region of the state of Veracruz, Mexico', Investigaciones Geográficas. DOI:

Barradas VL, Ruiz Córdova JP, Esperón-Rodríguez M, (2016) 'Microclimatology and ecophysiology of the urban vegetation of a city with tropical climate modified by altitude in Mexico', Botanical Sciences, vol.94, no.4, pp 775-786

Beaumont LJ, Graham E, Duursma D, Wilson PD, Cabrelli A, Baumgartner JB, Hallgren W, Esperón-Rodríguez M, Nipperess D, Warren DL, Laffan SW, VanDerWal J, (2016) 'Which species distribution models are more (or less) likely to project broad-scale, climate-induced shifts in species ranges?', Ecological Modelling, vol.342, pp 135–146

Esperón-Rodríguez M, Barradas VL, (2016) 'Stomatal responses of tree species from the cloud forest in central Veracruz, México', Botanical Sciences, vol.94, no.2, pp 311-321

Esperón-Rodríguez M, Bonifacio-Bautista M, Barradas VL, (2016) 'Socio-economical vulnerability to climate change in the central mountainous region of eastern Mexico', AMBIO, vol.45, no.2, pp 146-160

Sandoval Pérez AL, Camargo-Ricalde SL, García-Oliva F, Alarcón A, Montaño NM, Montaño-Arias SA, Esperón-Rodríguez M, (2016) 'Biocrusts, inside and outside resource islands of Mimosa luisana (Leguminosae), improve soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a tropical semiarid ecosystem', European Journal of Soil Biology, vol.74, pp 93-103

Vázquez-Molina Y, Correa-Metrio A, Sawisza E, Franco-Gaviria JF, Pérez L, Romero F, Prado B, Charqueño-Célis F, Esperón-Rodríguez M, (2016) 'Decoupled lake history and regional climates in the middle elevations of tropical Mexico', Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas, vol.33, no.3, pp 355-364

Esperón-Rodríguez M, Barradas VL, (2015) 'Comparing environmental vulnerability in the montane cloud forest of eastern Mexico: A vulnerability index', Ecological Indicators, vol.52, pp 300-310 
*Featured in the GBIF Science Review 2016

Esperón-Rodríguez M, Barradas VL, (2015) 'Ecophysiological vulnerability to climate change: water stress responses in four tree species from the central mountain region of Veracruz, Mexico', Regional Environmental Change, vol.15, pp 93–108

Esperón-Rodríguez M, Barradas VL, (2014) 'Potential vulnerability to climate change of four tree species from the central mountain region of Veracruz, Mexico', Climate Research, vol.60, no.2, pp 163-174