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School of Geography

Tim Baker Dr Tim Baker

Contact details

Room 10.29 Garstang
School of Geography
University of Leeds
University Road
Leeds LS2 9JT   UK


+44 (0) 113 34 38352

Student hours:
Please email to arrange an appointment

Work in progress

1. How resilient are intact tropical forests to environmental change?

I lead the project 'Monitoring protected areas in Peru to increase forest resilience to climate change' (MonANPeru) which is using permanent forest plot data to quantify how forests in the Peruvian Andes Amazon region are responding to climate change and will integrate this information within the management strategies of the Peruvian Protected Area authority. This project will support both the management of resources, such as palms, which are used by local communities, as well as the strategic development of the protected area network in this region.

2. How did the diversity of tropical forests arise and what are implications of evolutionary history for ecosystem function and conservation today?

I hold a Leverhulme Fellowship, where I am exploring the drivers of diversification of the tree flora across the tropics. In addition, with Fernanda Coelho de Souza, funded by CNPq (Brazil), I am quantifying the links between evolutionary history and carbon cycling in tropical forests. Finally, with funding from NERC and in collaboration with Toby Pennington and Kyle Dexter, we are addressing the role that shifts between rain forest, dry forest and cerrado biomes have played in the evolution of neotropical tree communities. As well as addressing fundamental evolutionary questions, this work also has applied relevance for conservation: will the destruction of certain forests, for example, lead to the loss of particular aspects of evolutionary history? 

3. How can we conserve tropical peatland landscapes?

I am collaborating with the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana, PROFONANPE and other organisations in Peru to support the implementation of carbon-based conservation projects in the peatlands of northeastern Peru. This work is based on a range of projects with Katy Roucoux, Ian Lawson and the Tropical Wetland Consortium, where we are linking ecological and palaeoecological approaches to explore climate- and human-driven patterns of vegetation change in Amazonian peatlands over the last 8,000 years.