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School of Geography

Archived news (EGC)

  • On 19 and 20 November Alan Grainger attended a meeting at FAO in Rome to analyse the results of the Collect Earth project, in which students and researchers at Leeds and eight other universities or research centres have mapped forests in the world's drylands this year. 

  • Oliver Phillips and Simon Lewis attended the first meeting of the International Forest Biomass Network, at the European Space Agency in Harwell, Oxfordshire, 17-18 November, for which we are founding members. Oliver gave a presentation on the work of the tropical ecological and ecoinformatics networks that we coordinate, ForestPlots.net, RAINFOR, and AfriTRON.

  • Jon Lovett gave a presentation on recent results from the RAINFOR project and forest restoration work by Kew at the Semana do Clima in Rio de Janerio 4-6 November; and was a panellist on a discussion about agriculture and land use chaired by the Brazilian journalist and filmmaker Sonia Bridi.
  • The below ground carbon mapping work by Freddie Draper and Tim Baker in the peatlands of northwest Amazonia was used by the regional president of Loreto, Peru to push for investment in the ‘green economy’ of this area of Amazonia, in recent bilateral meetings between Peru and Ecuador, and sessions during the 2015 Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Lima.

  • £10,000 from the University of Nottingham has been awarded to Oliver Phillips, Gabriela Lopez, Joana Ricardo: RAINFOR liana databasing to examine Amazon liana dynamics and tree impacts. 
  • Tim Baker gave two talks at the ‘Biodiversity and conservation of the tropical Andes and the Amazon rain forest’ meeting in Lima, 16-18 October. The first concerned strategies for successful permanent monitoring in tropical forests, and the second was on behalf of Freddie Draper about the carbon stocks of peatland ecosystems in northern Peru. He was also a panel member for a subsequent discussion session on improving the on-going national forest inventory in Peru. 

  • On 16 October, Tim Baker signed a cooperation agreement on behalf of RAINFOR (Amazon Forestry Inventory Network) with the Protected Areas Authority in Peru (SERNANP) to monitor the impact of climate change on the nation’s forests (see here). The first activity as part of this agreement will be training of SERNANP staff in methods of permanent monitoring, led by colleagues at the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana, in the Cordillera Escalera in northern Peru in early November.

  • Roel Brienen successfully applied for analysis of oxygen and carbon isotopes in tree rings from the Amazon basin through the NERC Isotope Geosciences Laboratory. The total award equates to an amount of £66,700.

  • Alan Grainger was in Bonn to attend the first meeting of the new Science-Policy Interface (SPI) of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), 24-26 June. Alan was one of 10 scientific members from around the world selected after an open call. He had previously been a member of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Scientific Advice which proposed the idea of the SPI to the UNCCD last year. Details of this can be found on the UNCCD website here.

  • Graeme Swindles has been awarded a research grant of £730 from the Quaternary Research Association to fund fieldwork at the Changuinola peatland in Panama later this year (Bocas del Toro: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute).

  • Gabriela Lopez-Gonzalez was an invited speaker at the UKDataCite Workshop at the University of Glasgow on 13 June, speaking about minting DOIs for ForestPlots.net. The event was coordinated by the University of Glasgow and the British Library Datasets Programme.

  • Simon Lewis has signed a new extension with the Centre for International Forestry (CIFOR), for fieldwork, conducted by Lan Qie (Leeds’ T-FORCES Asia-focussed post-doc), and analysis of SE Asian tropical forests (worth $80K to Leeds).

  • On 3 June Guy Ziv led an inter-disciplinary workshop on the future for palm oil in Western and Central Africa, funded by an award from Africa Collage and co-organized with Keith Hamer (Biology), Anne Tallontire (SEE) and Chee Yew Wong (LUBS).  The event brought together staff from across Leeds faculties, researchers from the University of York and Leeds Met, UK-based NGOs (Fauna & Flora International, Proforest, Traidcraft and Oxfam) and two international guests:  Dr. Rebecca Azare, Director of Programs and Research from Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC) in Accra, Ghana and Dr. Christopher Stewart, Head of Environment and Sustainable Development in Olam International, Gabon.  The participants collaboratively identified and discussed research gaps across different issues ranging from yields, biodiversity, ecosystem services, production structures and supply chains, policies, and international standards. This was facilitated in three breakout sessions by Rebecca Slack and Louise Walker, Kathleen Wright (LIBACS) and Andrew Hirst (RIS).  The workshop provides a sound basis for the development of collaborative and inter-disciplinary research proposals that generate evidence to support policy and address the challenges in the different policy and ecological contexts of West and Central Africa.

  • The project Conservation and Sustainable Use of Tropical Forest Biodiversity, has been awarded to Lan Qie, Simon Lewis and Oliver Phillips, funded by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), based in Indonesia. This award of ca. $70,000 will support fieldwork and salary for Lan Qie in Indonesia in developing a long-term forest monitoring plot network, as well as contributing to the Tropical Forests in the Changing Earth System team in Leeds.