Science at SAFE, 27-29 March 2019

SAFE Project is holding a Science at SAFE meeting at Imperial College London, Silwood Park Campus from the 27th – 29th March 2019. The overarching aims for the meeting will be:

  • to summarise the research done so far at SAFE,
  • to review how that research covers the major components of tropical forest ecosystems, and
  • to identify gaps and opportunities for future research.

Further details including presentations and registration can be found here.

BES Novel methods in ecology skills workshop

The British Ecological Society Tropical Ecology Group will host a one-day ‘Novel Methods in Ecology’ Skills Workshop, Tuesday 11 September from 09:00 – 17:00 in Charles Darwin House, London.

There will be three half-day workshops on the following topics (with participants able to choose two):

1) Advances in Remote Sensing and Drone Technologies – Dr. Doreen Boyd – University of Nottingham
Ecologists have always benefited from the ability to acquire data about ecosystems remotely. This is especially the case for the tropics where access can be tricky. Throughout the almost 50 years of remote sensing for Earth observation there have many success stories for ecologists, with a widening access for ecologists to the technologies and methods provided by remote sensing. Probably, the most exciting of these is the recent proliferation of drones and open software to handle these data to extract the desired ecological information and insights. This workshop will provide an overview of remote sensing for ecology with a particular focus on drones and associated software, as well as considering data integration with other remotely sensed datasets (e.g., from terrestrial laser scanning; satellites). The workshop will be focussed on both theory and practice, with the opportunity to handle some data.

2) Plant Functional Traits and Tree Hydraulics – Dr. Thaise Emilio, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew
The interest of ecologist in trait-based research has increased dramatically in the last years with the promise of reducing ecological complexity to a handful of traits. Panacea or not, basic knowledge about plant functional trait theory and methods must now be in the plant ecologists toolbox. This is what this workshop is about; introduce the basics of trait-based research in plants and present some methods of the fast growing area of tree hydraulics.

3) Analysis of Spatial Point Patterns – Dr. Janine Illian, University of St. Andrews
Spatial point processes model the structure reflected in the patterns formed but the locations of individuals in space. This workshop will introduce participants to flexible statistical modelling approaches based on spatial point process methodology. In particular, we will discuss flexible and computationally efficient modelling approaches that analyse the spatial point patterns as such, as well as those that consider the point patterns along with relevant properties of the individuals forming the pattern. There will be a short demonstration of the R package “inlabru”, developed by researchers at the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, which is available here:

The workshops will be tailored to a broad ecological audience, so anyone interested in these topics is welcome to attend. Workshops will give a broad overview of the methodology and its use in ecology as well as some hands-on experience using some of the methodology. Lunch and coffee and tea will be provided.

For further info, please visit 

Registration closes on 11 August 2018.

Riparian KE workshop, June 2018

A Knowledge Exchange workshop on ‘The benefits of riparin buffers in Sabah’, co-hosted by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage (DID), the Environment protection Department (EPD), the Department of Agriculture (DoA), and SEARRP will be held on 26th June 2018, in Kota Kinabalu.

Check out the SEARRP webpages for further info and news on the workshop.

Training Workshop on High-Resolution Mapping of Sabah’s Forest Carbon

The Sabah Forestry Department, in collaboration with the BALI project (Biodiversity and Land-use Impacts on tropical ecosystem functioning) of the Human Modified Tropical Forests (HMTF) programme and South East Asia Rainforest Partnership (SEARRP) and with support of the EU funded programme ‘Tackling Climate Change through Sustainable Forest management and Community Development’ held a training day on ‘High Resolution Mapping of Sabah’s Forest Carbon’ to develop capacity in Carbon Stock Assessment.  The meeting included a discussion and practical session by Prof. David Coomes from the University of Cambridge on the science behind the Sabah Carbon map with suggestions and recommendations on how to update the map and measure forest recovery in the future.

HMTF Science Day, 27th June 2018

The Human Modified Tropical Forests (HMTF) Programme will be holding a science focused knowledge exchange day on the 27th June 2018, at the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Universiti Malaysia Sabah.  The aim of this meeting is to share and discuss results from the BALI, LOMBOK and ECOFOR projects with local collaborators, researchers and students alike.

A copy of the programme can be found here.

Post-doctoral Fellow in Tropical Ecology

School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong

Deadline:  14 May 2018

Contact: Dr Louise Ashton

Applications are invited for appointment as Post-doctoral Fellow in Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences, to commence May 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter, for two years, with the possibility of a one year extension. We will be using the international canopy crane network, canopy climbing techniques and experimental manipulation experiments to understand responses of plant-insect food webs to global change.

Applicants should possess (or be close to submission) a PhD in terrestrial ecology with experience in tropical rainforest ecology, foodweb ecology or climate change manipulation experiments. In this role you will lead field work and collect and analyze the data. The successful candidate will take a lead role in preparing manuscripts for publication and disseminating the research at international conferences.

Required criteria:

• PhD in terrestrial ecology
• Strong experimental design and analytical skills
• Tropical field work experience
• Good problem-solving skills
• Excellent publishing record


• Experience in climate change manipulation experiments (e.g. thermotolerance experiments)
• Experience in foodweb ecology
• Plant or insect identification skills
• Molecular skills
• Good time management and ability to work collaboratively
• Experience and/or willingness to work in forest canopies

A highly competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience will be offered, in addition to annual leave and medical benefits.

Applicants should send a completed application form together with a cover letter, a statement of your research interests and how you meet the selection criteria, an up-to-date CV and contact details for three referees to Dr Louise Ashton ( See for more details on research themes. Application forms (341/1111) can be downloaded at

Green Family Fun Day, March 2018

University of Aberdeen researchers from the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences manned a display called “Does What You Eat Affect the World” for the Green Family Fun Day in Pet’s Corner of Hazlehead Park. The fun day, which had at least 20 activities, was organised by Aberdeen Council as part of Climate Week North East which itself put on 45 events across the city and shire highlighting the issue of Climate Change and local initiative to address it.  PhD student Naveed Bhatti, BALI project coordinator Laura Kruitbos and Professor Adam Price invited children and their parents to think about food, where it comes from, how it is grown and its impact on the environment. The kids were mostly interested in the microscopes showing soil micro fauna while many parents were encouragingly aware of palm oil as a cause of environmental concern.  Some were even interested in the role of flooding rice for control of parasitic nematodes.  Naveed and Adam took turns to dress up as “Nick”, the orang-utan from the Orang-utan Foundation and parade through the park high-fiving children. Overall, the day was a wonderful experience. It was a beautiful day (too hot to be dressed as an ape), the park was mobbed and more than 2,000 people visited Pet’s Corner.  It was busy non-stop and the venue was imbued with a sense of excitement and community spirit. Very uplifting.









ATBC 2018

55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) in  Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, Southeast Asia.

The meeting will be held at the Pullman Kuching Hotel, Sarawak, Malaysia, July 1-5, 2018

Call for abstracts is open till 31 March 2018.  For further info, please visit

NERC Unearthed 2017

University of Aberdeen Researchers from the Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences held an exhibit at the NERC Unearthed event at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, 17th – 20th November 2017.  The theme of our stall focused on soil health and food security in tropical regions.  We wanted to show how what we eat affects the world and how our research may tackle these issues.

Some photos from our exhibit are shown below:




Thank you to all our volunteers and visitors for a successful day!