My PhD research focusses on the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, where threats to globally endangered species and forest ecosystems include demand for timber and agricultural land.
My work has a number of strands, including: 1) the importance of rubber plantations as a driver of land use change and biodiversity loss, 2) the economics of timber extraction and forest conversion, and 3) the potential for REDD+ to compete with these economic drivers.
Much of my research focusses on Cambodia, a country with high forest cover and high deforestation rates. Here, the largest remaining dry-deciduous-dipterocarp and lowland-dry-evergreen forests left in Southeast Asia are being degraded through widespread logging, and cleared for conversion to agriculture and plantations. I work with forest inventory datasets and biodiversity records to model the economics of timber extraction and rubber plantations, to predict the opportunity costs of forest conservation. I also predict the potential revenue from REDD+, and ask whether carbon funding could protect forests from these economic drivers, to inform development of policy on REDD+. I also assess the spatial congruence between conservation priorities, carbon stocks, and opportunity costs, to search for areas where win-wins for biodiversity and carbon can be found at the lowest cost, and to identify priority species and ecosystems that cannot be protected using carbon funding.
I also work in Thailand, where I look at the productivity and biodiversity value of smallholder agroforestry and monoculture rubber production systems, to ask whether how we could best meet global rubber demand at minimal cost to biodiversity.
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Aside from enjoying travel to the tropics, I am very fond of mountains, even rainy British ones, and spend time walking, scrambling and climbing on them all year round. While in the flat lands of Norfolk, I spend a lot of time at the beach, looking at seals and birds, or cycling through the countryside. Drinking good coffee, making and eating good food and spending time with other people’s dogs (as I don’t have my own yet) are favourite pastimes. I’m also fond of wine.
Zou Y, Sang W, Warren-Thomas E, Axmacher JC. (2016). Geometrid moth assemblages reflect high conservation value of naturally regenerated secondary forests in temperate China. For. Ecol. Manage. 374, 111–118.
Rockwell CA, Guariguata MR, Menton M, Arroyo Quispe E, Quaedvlieg J, Warren-Thomas E, Fernandez Silva H, Jurado Rojas EE, Kohagura Arrunátegui JAH, Meza Vega LA, Revilla Vera O, Quenta Hancco R, Valera Tito JF, Villarroel Panduro BT, Yucra Salas JJ. (2015) Nut Production in Bertholletia excelsa across a Logged Forest Mosaic: Implications for Multiple Forest Use. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0135464. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135464
Warren-Thomas, E., Dolman, P.M. & Edwards, D.P. (2015). Increasing Demand for Natural Rubber Necessitates a Robust Sustainability Initiative to Mitigate Impacts on Tropical Biodiversity. Cons. Lett. 8: 230-241
Zou, Y., Sang, W., Wang, S., Warren-Thomas, E., Liu, Y., Yu, Z., Wang, C. & Axmacher, J.C. (2015). Diversity patterns of ground beetles and understory vegetation in mature, secondary, and plantation forest regions of temperate northern China. Ecol. Evol., 5, 531–542.
Warren-Thomas, E., Zou, Y., Dong, L., Yao, X., Yang, M., Zhang, X., Qin, Y., Liu, Y., Sang, W. & Axmacher, J.C. (2014). Ground beetle assemblages in Beijing’s new mountain forests. For. Ecol. Manage., 334, 369–376.
Upton, K., Warren-Thomas, E., Rogers, I., Docherty, E. (2014). Amphibian Diversity on Floating Meadows in Flooded Forests of the Peruvian Amazon. Herpetol. Rev., 45, 209–212.
Warren-Thomas, E., Menton, M., Huamán, J., Frisancho Vargas, R., Wadley, E., Price, N., Axmacher, J.C. (2013). Frog Communities in Fire-Disturbed Forests of the Peruvian Amazon. Herpetol. Bull., 123, 14.