Forest Management Research Group

The main aim of the Forest Management Research Group is to provide scientific understanding and knowledge exchange to increase the resilience of Britain’s forests to climate change and biotic threats, whilst maintaining productivity.

The Forest Management Research Group is based at two main locations, Alice Holt in Surrey (England), the Northern Research Station near Edinburgh (Scotland).

Gary KerrDr Gary Kerr Head of Forest Management Research Group

Gary Kerr is the Science Group Leader for Forest Management in Forest Research. Gary’s research focuses on alternative approaches to management, continuous cover silviculture and diversification. Gary has a strong commitment to reporting the results of research in the scientific literature and ensuring this knowledge is available to forest managers and policy makers.

Colin McEvoyColin McEvoy

Colin currently manages the Scottish Short Rotation Forestry species trials and restock planting audits for FC Scotland. He also runs the Plant Quality Testing Service and provides scientific support to a number of other researchers.

Sophie HaleDr Sophie Hale

Sophie works on aspects of continuous cover forestry and wind risk modelling. She was responsible for recent developments of the ForestGALES wind risk management tool. She is now developing a tool aimed at guiding management of irregular forests to reduce risk of wind damage. Sophie is also involved in developing MOSES_GB, a growth model for irregular forest stands.

Dr. Richard JinksDr Richard Jinks

Richard works on several research projects, including investigating potential species and provenances that might be useful for helping forests adapt to climate change. He is also carrying out research on nursery production of forest seedlings as well as the regeneration biology of trees. He provides scientific and technical support to the management of the tree collections at Westonbirt National Arboretum and Bedgebury National Pinetum.

Shelagh McCartanDr Shelagh McCartan

Shelagh is a Seed Scientist and Work Area Leader for Plant Production. She leads research in two areas: seed technology to improve seed lot quality and seedling performance; and seed provenance to predict the impact of assisted migration of non-native seed sources on the dormancy-germination characteristics of tree species. She is also the co-ordinator of the IUFRO WG 2.09.03 – Seed physiology and technology.

Robert Needham

Robert is a Seed Technician and is currently working on a project examining impacts of storage on acorn performance, as well as contributing to research on other tree seeds such ash and juniper. Robert has a background in Biology and Ecology, and has a wide range of experience in both laboratory and field environments. He is a member of the Royal Society of Biology.

Matt ParratMatt Parrat

Matt works on several projects managing large scale trials investigating potential species and provenances in relation to forestry with future climate change, alternative silvicultural systems, integrated vegetation management, and Chalara ash dieback tolerance in common ash. He also provides specialist scientific and technical support to Westonbirt National Arboretum, Bedgebury Pinetum, and smaller Forestry Commission arboreta across the UK. He is the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland joint referee for conifers, and sits on their national council.

Victoria StokesDr Victoria Stokes

Victoria leads and manages silvicultural research in upland forestry, contributing to research on alternative management systems, emerging species, silviculture of broadleaved species, and alternative establishment techniques. She also manages Forest Research’s Long-term Experiments project, which maintains and conserves the best silvicultural experiments for future research needs. She is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Foresters and the editorial board of ‘Scottish Forestry’, the journal of the Royal Scottish Forestry Society.

Dr Ian Willoughby

As well as leading the multidisciplinary Delivering Resilient Forests Programme, Ian is the principal investigator for research into the silviculture of regeneration and early stand tending, and integrated forest vegetation management including pesticide use and minimisation. He has over 25 years experience as both a forest manager and research silviculturist, has produced more than a 100 scientific and technical publications, has a Forestry PhD and BSc, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.