Sophie Hale, BSc, PhD

Research Scientist

Sophie Hale


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5942
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Sophie Hale obtained a degree in Geography (1992) and a PhD in Ecology (1996), both from the University of Edinburgh. Her PhD was a study of forest micrometeorology as part of the BOREAS project in Canada. She joined Forest Research in 1997 to work on different aspects of transformation to continuous cover forestry, in particular below-canopy light and its relationship to seedling growth.  Her work now focuses on modelling stand stability in both regular and irregular forest stands, and on developing a growth model for mixed-age and mixed-species forest stands.

Current role

Research Scientist

Current programmes

Continuous cover silviculture
Development of a single-tree growth model for the simulation of non-uniform forest stands, such as those that will result from the increased application of continuous cover silviculture.  Working in collaboration with the Institute of Silviculture at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria.

Tree stability and climate
Modelling stability of trees in even- and uneven-structured forest stands

Research areas

  • Continuous cover forestry
  • Stand stability, in particular the development of a wind risk model for irregular forest stands
  • Modelling growth of irregular-structured forest stands

Main recent publications

Hale S, Nicoll B and Martin S, 2015. Improvements to ForestGALES: the forest wind risk tool. Forestry and Timber News 71, 26-27.

Nicoll BC, Hale SE, Gardiner BA, Peace A and Rayner B, 2015. ForestGALES  – A wind risk decision support tool for forest management in Britain.  version 2.5 User manual. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Hale SE, Gardiner B, Peace A, Nicoll B, Taylor P and Pizzirani S, 2015. Comparison and validation of three versions of a forest wind risk model. Environmental Modelling and Software 68, 27-41. doi 10.1016/j.envsoft.2015.01.016.

Arcangeli C, Klopf M, Hale SE, Jenkins TAR and Hasenauer H, 2013. The uniform height curve method for height-diameter modelling: an application to Sitka spruce in Britain. Forestry,  doi 10.1093/forestry/cpt041.

Hale SE, Gardiner BA, Wellpott A, Nicoll BC and Achim A, 2012. Wind loading of trees: influence of tree size and competition. Eur J For Res 131, 203-217. doi 10.1007/s10342-010-0448-2.

Mason, B., Edwards, C., and Hale, S.E. (2011). Continuous Cover Forestry in larch plantations: a case study in central Scotland. Scottish Forestry, 65 (3), in press.

Hale, S.E., Gardiner, B.A., Wellpott, A., Nicoll, B.C. (2011). Wind loading of trees: influence of tree size and competition.  in press European Journal of Forest Research; DOI 10.1007/s10342-010-0448-2.

Comeau, P.G., White, M., Kerr, G. and Hale, S.E. (2010).  Maximum density-size relationships for Sitka spruce and coastal Douglas-fir in Britain and Canada.  Forestry 83, 461-468.

Hale, S.E., Edwards, C., Mason, W.L., Price, M. and Peace, A.J. (2009). Relationships between canopy transmittance and stand parameters in Sitka spruce and Scots pine stands in Britain. Forestry 82: 515-527; doi:10.1093/forestry/cpp021.

Hale, S.E. and Kerr, G. (2009). Factors to consider when defining acceptable stocking levels for conifer regeneration in continuous cover forestry.  Q.J.For., 103, 2, 111-119.

Kerr, G. and Hale, S.E. (2009).  Regeneration in CCF.  (Letter). Q.J.For. 103, 256.

Gardiner, B.A., Byrne, K., Hale, S.E., Kamimura, K., Mitchell, S., Peltola, H. and Ruel, J.-C. (2008). A review of mechanistic modelling of wind damage risk to forests. Forestry 81, 3, 447-463.

Gardiner, B.A., Suárez, J.C., Achim, A., Hale, S. and Nicoll, B. (2006). ‘ForestGALES 2.1. A PC-based wind risk model for British forests’. Forestry Commission publications. Edinburgh. 54 pp.

Hale, S.E. and Brown, N. (2005). Use of the canopy-scope as a means of assessing canopy openness in plantation forests in Britain. Forestry, 78: 365-371.

Hale, S.E. (2004). Managing Light to Enable Natural Regeneration in British Conifer Forests. Information Note 63. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. pp. 6.

Hale, S.E., Levy, P.E. and Gardiner, B. (2004). Trade-offs between seedling growth and stand stability in alternative silvicultural systems : a modelling analysis. For. Ecol. Manage. 187, 105-115.

Levy, P.E., Hale, S.E. and Nicoll, B.C. (2004). Biomass expansion factors and root:shoot ratios for coniferous tree species in Great Britain. Forestry, 77, 5, 421-430.

Mason, W.L., Edwards, C. and Hale, S.E. (2004). Survival and early seedling growth of conifers with different shade tolerance in a Sitka spruce spacing trial and relationship to understorey light climate. Silva Fennica, 38, 4, 357-370.

Hale, S.E. (2003). The effects of thinning intensity on the below-canopy light environment in a Sitka spruce plantation. For. Ecol. Manage. 179, 341-349.

Hale, S.E. and Edwards, C.E. (2002). Comparison of film and digital hemispherical photography across a wide range of canopy densities. Agric. For. Meteorol. 112, 51-56.

Hale, S.E. (2001). Light regime beneath Sitka spruce plantations in northern Britain: preliminary results. For. Ecol. Manage. 151, 1-3, 61-66.

Grant, R.F., Jarvis, P.G., Massheder, J.M., Hale, S.E., Moncrieff, J.B., Rayment, M.B., Scott, S.L. and Berry, J.A. (2001). Controls on carbon and energy exchange by a black spruce - moss ecosystem: Testing the mathematical model Ecosys with data from the BOREAS experiment. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 15, 1, 129-147.

Hale, S.E. and Levy, P.E.  (2000)  Predicting incoming radiation from long-term temperature and sunshine records in Britain.  24th Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Davis, CA., USA, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (Supplement), 24, 136-137.

Hale, S.E., Quine, C.P. and Suarez, J.C. (1998). Climatic conditions associated with treelines of Scots pine and birch in highland Scotland. Scot. For. 52, 2, 70-76.

Jarvis, P.G., Massheder, J.M., Hale, S.E., Moncrieff, J.B., Rayment, M.B. and Scott, S.L. (1998). Seasonal variation of carbon dioxide, water vapour, and energy exchanges of a boreal black spruce forest. J. Geophys. Res. 102, 28953-28966.