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Department of Plant Sciences


The Tropical Ecology and Conservation group's research focuses at the nexus of tropical ecology, tropical land-use and wildlife trade, and conservation policy. We use rigorous field study, remote sensing, global mapping, land-use modelling, and environmental economics to tackle key questions in tropical forest ecology and conservation, with a focus on issues of global significance. 

We are particularly interested in understanding the most effective ways of managing tropical forests and wildlife trade in the tropics to enhance biodiversity protection and the delivery of associated ecosystem functions and services. We work closely with conservation practitioners, government, and industry in developing the group’s research and translating it into applied solutions. Our work spans the South American, African, and Asian-Pacific tropics, it focuses on lowland tropical forests, montane forests, and savanna-woodlands, and it includes multiple taxonomic groups from trees and birds, to dung beetles and orchids. 


Questions of current interest include:


  • What are the drivers of spatial patterns in diversity and abundance of tropical trees and orchids?
  • How to ensure global wood security under climate change, and how will this impact tropical forests?
  • How to maximise the environmental and social benefits of restoration in the tropics?
  • What are the impacts of wildlife trade and how should policy mechanisms develop to ensure sustainability?
  • How do land-use change and restoration impact biodiversity across spatial scales?

More information

To find out more about the research carried out by the Tropical Ecology and Conservation Group please get in touch.

Joining the group

Contact Head of Group Professor David Edwards if you're interested in joining the group or finding out more about the group's research.

Group members

Vacanices and PhDs