Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes
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Centre Staff

We combine expertise from the public and private sectors, and across social and natural sciences.

Prof Jaboury Ghazoul

Centre Director

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  • Prof Jaboury Ghazoul is a plant ecologist, working mainly on tropical forest ecology and land use change. He is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Forests and Landscapes, alongside his position at ETH Zürich where he is Professor of Ecosystem Management. He is also the current holder of the Prince Bernhard Chair of International Nature Conservation, Utrecht University with WWF Netherlands. He has worked extensively in Southeast Asia, and India, and also has projects in Africa and Latin America, as well as new projects on woodland expansion and landscape restoration in Scotland. Jaboury was the Editor-in-Chief of Biotropica from 2006 to 2013, the President of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) in 2016, and a member of the Expert Committee on Forest Science (UK Forestry Commission).

Dr Clare Barnes

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  • Dr Clare Barnes is an Interdisciplinary Lecturer in Sustainable Livelihoods at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. Her current research interest is in forest and landscape governance in the Global South. She is particularly interested in the perceptions and roles of various state and non-state actors (such as NGOs and social movements). Her interests range from how policies affecting the governance of rural areas are made and implemented, to how these policies affect forests and the livelihoods of those living in or near them. She studies approaches taken by NGOs and social movements and aim to understand how they can have wider transformational effects.

Susan Davies

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  • Susan Davies is a NERC-sponsored Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the School of GeoSciences. She promotes, adapts and translates the work of academics working on forest disturbance risks to sector end-users including insurers, investors, and forest carbon/timber stakeholders. Project partners include the Forestry Commission, Forest Research, CONFOR, DEFRA, FERA, ForestRe, WillisRe and the Woodland Trust. Susan has built a network of over 700 contacts in the global forest sector. She is additionally completing a PhD on how techniques to measure risk in the finance sector might be applied to natural disturbance risks in forestry. Prior experience includes 12 years in the City including seven years in risk management in banking.

Dr Kyle Dexter

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  • Dr Kyle Dexter is an expert on the ecology, evolution, and biogeography of tropical trees and forests. His research spans from community assembly to plant-herbivore interactions to evolutionary systematics. His current primary focus is on the ecology and evolutionary history of biomes, particularly in a cross-biome, comparative context. Kyle received his PhD at Duke University, USA, prior to moving to France for a CNRS fellowship. He moved to Edinburgh in 2011, first as a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and then as a staff member at the University of Edinburgh from 2013. His research group works mostly on South American and African forests and savannas.

Dr Darrick Evensen

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  • Darrick's research is particularly focused on energy policy, both at domestic and international/global scales. Much of his research examines the public as a non-state actor in environmental and energy policy debates. He investigates public perceptions, preferences, and public actions taken in response to environmental issues and policy decisions.
    He is currently a co-investigator on a UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) grant investigating 'the spatial and temporal dynamics of public attitudes and community responses to shale gas' (2018-2021); Darrick is leading a workpackage including longitudinal national surveys and repeated cross-sectional surveys in highly localised areas proximate to (potential) shale gas development. Data analysis will include time-series, geospatial, and multilevel analysis.

 

Dr Janet Fisher

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  • Janet is a Senior Lecturer and Chancellor’s Fellow at the School of GeoSciences. She is interested in the links between environmental change, management, and human development. She uses ecosystem services concepts to understand how the environment supports human wellbeing from natural and social science perspectives. Janet is also interested in how ecosystem services concepts and policies are changing conservation practice. She has led and contributed to a number of projects (e.g. ACES, ESPA Frontiers) on the rural development implications of land use change in landscape mosaics in Mozambique and elsewhere. This includes global synthesis work on the changing relationships between people, agriculture, and ecosystem services. Janet is additionally exploring how conservation practitioners justify and promote pro-poor governance of ecosystem services. She has helped launch the Future of Conservation Survey, which has now been taken by around 12,000 conservation practitioners in ~180 different countries.

Dr Alfy Gathorne-Hardy

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  • Dr Alfy Gathorne-Hardy is an Interdisciplinary Lecturer in Sustainable Resource Use for Food Security at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. His career has spanned academia, consultancy, parliament and government including secondment to DECCA, and DEFRA to develop the Government’s Bioenergy Sustainability Criteria. His academic research examines the interactions and trade-offs between different players in socio-ecological systems. He received his doctorate from Imperial College before coming to Oxford in 2011 to study the Indian food system. He was the Research Director of the Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development from 2014, and joined the University of Edinburgh in 2017.

Dr Steven Hancock

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  • Dr Steven Hancock is a lecturer in 3D environmental data capture at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh and an assistant research professor in the Department of Geography, University of Maryland. His research focuses on developing methods to measure vegetation structure from novel remote sensing instruments and using those measurements in weather, climate and ecosystem services models. This has included working with experimental forest measurement instruments, such as the SALCA terrestrial laser scanner, and developing the simulator computer code for the pre-launch calibration of the NASA GEDI mission's forest biomass product.

Dr Aidan Keane

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  • Aidan is a Chancellor’s Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the School of Geosciences. His research focuses on understanding human behaviour and decision-making in order to improve the outcomes of conservation interventions. He has particular interests in the study of illegal behaviour and conservation conflicts and in the application of experimental methods and "big-data" approaches to conservation problems. His group works across the tropics, with recent projects in Tanzania, Cambodia and Indonesia.

Dr Caroline Lehmann

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  • Dr Caroline Lehmann is a biogeographer with world-leading expertise in fire ecology across the tropics, with a particular focus on savannas. In her work, she links remotely sensed data, experimental data, meta-analyses and field observations. Caroline currently works on projects aimed at improving our understanding of savanna vegetation dynamics and extent related to climate and fire, the evolution and assembly of C4 grasslands, improving the definition of tropical biomes, and, plant-fire coevolution. She has published highly novel research on continental differences in fire-trait interactions, and the role of fire in vegetation dynamics.

Prof Patrick Meir

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  • Patrick is Chair of Ecosystem Science at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, and Professor of Tropical Forest Ecosystems at the Australian National University. He is a plant and ecosystem ecologist with 20 years’ experience in lowland and upland environments. He has won >£10 m in external research funds to study the functioning and resilience of tropical forests with respect to climate, soil resources, species composition and land use. His work combines plant ecophysiology with remote sensing and vegetation model development. He leads several field-scale experiments across the tropics, addressing the impacts of global change on forest ecosystem function and biodiversity. He is also pioneering cross-sector study of forest ecosystem service provision and the implications for policy, land use and climate in South America. Patrick has published over 180 peer-reviewed scientific papers; he has also led internationally in developing new applied training approaches, and has won multiple science communication awards.

Dr Marc Metzger

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  • Dr Marc Metzger is Reader in Environment and Society within the Research Institute of Geography and the Lived Environment at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the potential impacts of global environmental change on ecosystems and the services they provide to society. He is also interested in foresight analysis and is keen to develop scenario planning tools to prepare for an uncertain future with global environmental changes, as well as trying to contribute to the development of robust analytical methods to quantify stock and change in ecosystem resources.

Dr Edward Mitchard

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  • Ed is Senior Lecturer in Forest Remote Sensing. His research develops satellite imaging technologies to monitor tropical ecosystems, by mapping forest biomass, deforestation, degradation and woody encroachment. He has won multiple grants from NERC, Innovate UK, the European Space Agency, the European Research Council, and the US Forest Service. His work in tropical forests has taken him to Colombia and Peru, the Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, and Uganda. He was part of a group that produced the first high-resolution pantropical map of aboveground biomass. Ed also runs a website allowing the comparison of carbon maps that fields several thousand queries per month. His findings have been widely used by the voluntary carbon sector. As a consultant, Ed has provided advice to DfID on monitoring the forest components of £3 billion of UK supported projects, and to the Government of Gabon on forest monitoring systems.

Dr Isla Myers-Smith

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  • Dr Isla Myers-Smith is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. She studies the influence of warming climate on tundra vegetation in northern ecosystems. In particular, she investigates the spread of willows and other shrub species into arctic and alpine tundra. Shrubs have the potential to restructure tundra ecosystems by changing ecosystem functions and creating feedbacks to climate warming that could further the increase of shrubs. She collaborates with researchers working at sites around the circumpolar Arctic to synthesize their combined data to better understand vegetation change in tundra ecosystems.

Dr Caroline Nichol

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  • Caroline is a Senior Lecturer in Remote Sensing at the School of GeoSciences. She has been advancing the use of tower, airborne and satellite optical data for detecting seasonal physiological changes in contrasting vegetation types. Using optical and LiDAR remote sensing, she is seeking to understand canopy-level (particularly forests) physiology and biosphere-atmosphere processes. Her research addresses how forest and other terrestrial ecosystems respond to climate change, and how these ecosystems act as sinks for CO2. Her work has been funded by NERC, NERC/Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation, The Royal Society of London, and EPSRC. She has worked at sites in Canada, Brazil, Siberia, Africa, USA, UK, Finland and Italy. She previously worked at Columbia University, Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre.

Dr Genevieve Patenaude

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  • Dr Genevieve Patenaude is a Senior Lecturer in Forests and Carbon Management at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. She has led a NERC-funded research project on ACES: Abrupt Changes in Ecosystem Services and Wellbeing in Mozambican Woodlands, as well as a NERC-DFID-ESRC funded research project on Forest Ecosystem Services and Poverty Alleviation. She is involved in the development of a mission concept for a Spaceborne Multispectral Lidar, and is one of the contributing authors to the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports (Good Practice Guidance for Land Use Change and Forestry). Dr Patenaude completed an MBA in 2008, and has since contributed strategic expertise to the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. She has been involved in setting up ECOMETRICA and co-founded Carbomap Ltd.

Prof Dave Reay

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  • Prof Dave Reay is Chair in Carbon Management & Education in the School of Geosciences. He specialises in greenhouse gas fluxes from land use and agriculture, climate change mitigation, nitrogen management, and climate-smart food systems. Dave was formely Assistant Principal for Global Environment and Society at Edinburgh and currently directs the online MSc in Carbon Management

Dr Casey Ryan

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  • Dr Casey Ryan is a Senior Lecturer in Ecosystem Services and Global Change at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on land use change, and its social and ecological impacts, with a focus on deforestation, forest degradation, and landscape restoration. A key area of activity for his research group is developing new methods for monitoring forests and savannas, and particularly, forest degradation and regrowth using radar remote sensing. Dr Ryan teaches interdisciplinary courses on socio-ecology, mixed methods and land use. He has worked to support forest and land managers in Scotland, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, and on research projects across the tropics. Currently he is a member of the Global Land Programme’s Scientific Steering Committee, and leads a network of scientists monitoring global change in southern Africa (SEOSAW).

Dr Lorna Street

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  • Dr Lorna Street is a NERC Independent Fellow based within the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. Her fellowship research topic "Plant nutrition as Earth System Science" addresses the interactions between soil carbon dynamics, plant nutrient uptake, and plant growth. She works primarily in Arctic terrestrial ecosystems where environmental change is happening quickly. Soils in these regions are carbon rich - the fate of this carbon will be important in determining the global climate impact of Arctic change. She uses a combination of experimental work and models, often employing isotopes to quantify carbon and nitrogen dynamics in plants and soils.

Dr Sam Staddon

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  • Dr Sam Staddon is an ESRC Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Fellow and a Lecturer in Environment & Development. Her interests lie in the social relations and political entanglements involved in community-based approaches to the conservation of nature, and within the build environment of energy. Her current work addresses issues of social equity in community forest monitoring, the role of social interactions between conservationists and land managers in Scotland, and the relationship between personal and professional experiences of domestic energy efficiency in the UK. Her past research has focused on the social dimensions of participatory ecological monitoring and resource use in community forests of Nepal and Scotland. She also trained and then worked as an ecologist and conservationist for 8 years, including in the Tanzania, Peru, New Zealand, Scandinavia and the UK.

Dr Neil Stuart

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  • Dr Neil Stuart is a Senior Lecturer in Geography at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. He is interested in the application of geographical information science to solving practical problems of land and water resource management. Leading the School’s links with Belize, he has been working on several projects including students expeditions in 1991 and 1996, and a more recent GPS survey of savanna regions within a conservation reserve managed by the Programme for Belize.

Dr Dan van der Horst

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  • Dr Dan van der Horst is a Senior Lecturer in Environment, Energy & Society. His interests include the governance of multifunctionality and shared value, and the tools, practices and politics of resource allocation and conflict management. Dan combines spatial analysis with environmental economics to develop spatial tools for land use and agri-environmental policies. Ongoing work focuses on resource ownership and scaled interventions to deliver ecosystem services, and on creating shared value between local communities and external businesses. He has published critical evaluations of sustainable energy policies, and also works on public perceptions of smart metering of energy services, and the diffusion of socio-technical energy innovations. Dan has received funding from ESRC, NERC and EPSRC and various EU funds for his research on social entrepreneurs in renewable energy, siting controversies and energy landscapes, the water-energy-food nexus, ecosystem services and poverty alleviation for small scale farmers adopting energy crops. He is director of the UK wide research network on Transforming Energy Demand Through Digital Innovation (TEDDINET).

Dr Gary Watmough

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  • Dr Gary Watmough is a Lecturer in Land Use and Socio-Ecological Systems. His research, mostly based in South Asia and Africa, is mainly focused on linking household survey datasets with remotely sensed satellite imagery to explore ecosystem services, rural poverty and local and regional ecological conditions. He has collaborated on the USES, REUSE and GULLS projects which integrated socioeconomic data with environmental data derived from satellites and climate change projections to further understanding of socio-ecological systems. Gary also has ongoing collaborations with the International Institute of Applied Systems Science (IIASA), Austria, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on using remote sensing for monitoring and evaluating international development projects.

Prof Mathew Williams

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  • Prof Mathew Williams is Chair of Global Change Ecology at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. His research focus is on analysis of terrestrial ecosystems states and processes. By combining dynamic simulation modelling with in situ data and earth observations, the group generates estimates of biomass, carbon cycling, and other ecosystem processes from landscape to global scales. He is developing this framework to operate at finer spatial scales, to determine the interactive effects of land use, deforestation and fire, and forest recovery, on carbon stores and sources for the UK and the tropics. He has over 20-years’ experience in tropical ecology and process modelling, from diagnosing the impacts of drought on primary production in rainforests, to quantifying the impact of human activity on Amazon carbon stocks. He has undertaken and led field work in Brazil, Mozambique and Tanzania, and has won >£5M as PI over his career. Prof Williams is a member of the UK National Centre for Earth Observation, the European Space Agency’s Biomass mission advisory group, and the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council Science Board. He received a Royal Society-Wolfson Merit Award in 2015.

Prof Iain Woodhouse

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  • Professor Iain Woodhouse is a forest remote sensing expert, with expertise in LiDAR forest mapping, satellite radar mapping, flood risk mapping; as well as managing airborne and UAV surveys. He is addressing the challenges of deforestation through remote sensing, the use of airborne and satellite measurements to map, monitor and understand forests and forest use. He is the founder of REDD Horizon, a capacity development programme in Malawi which works on developing new MRV protocols (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification) for community managed forests, determining the best satellite data products to use for forest carbon inventory, and building sufficient indigenous capacity to fully utilise the satellite products available. Prof Woodhouse is the co-founder of ECOMETRICA, and CEO of CARBOMAP.

Dr Anastasia (Annie) Yang

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  • Dr Anastasia Yang (Annie) is a postdoc working on the Climate KIC ForLand project aimed at developing and testing processes to improve forest restoration supported by an innovative and integrative software platform. She will be contributing to the Scottish case study, developing and implementing a participatory stakeholder engagement approach, in collaboration with partners; Forest Research, ETH Zurich, CIRAD, and ONF international. Annie spent three years working for CIFOR in Indonesia looking at REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms and understanding issues of equity. She was further involved in a project researching the linkages between tropical forest use, migration and remittances. Annie has spent the last three years at the Thünen Institute of International Forestry in Hamburg working as a senior scientist examining policy approaches for improving livelihoods, sustainable forest management and conservation. Her research focused on socio-ecological systems and interdisciplinary linkages, in addition to developing participatory approaches to understand local perceptions and values over land use.