My research focuses on the consequences to biodiversity of restoring logged tropical forest in Malaysian Borneo. Most remaining forests in Borneo have been (or will be) subjected to timber extraction via selective logging. Whilst logging is harmful, it is well recognised that Bornean logged forests harbour substantial biodiversity and continue to supply many of the services and functions provided by primary forests. Unfortunately, many of these forests fall under idle management or are imperilled by conversion to oil palm plantations. Developing strategies that encourage the retention and best management of logged forests is therefore critical if Borneo’s biodiversity is to be protected into the future.
Within logged forests, planting seedlings in the understorey or cutting back choking vines can boost forest regrowth, speeding the recovery of commercially valuable timber species and capturing additional CO 2 from the atmosphere—which can then be sold to emerging climate change mitigation initiatives. Vine cutting and enrichment planting could therefore be an important component in motivating the retention of logged forests in the face of agricultural expansion. However, the impact of such activities on biodiversity remain little explored. Some worry that vine cutting could remove important wildlife habitats or that over planting of timber seedlings could convert logged forests into timber farms, further eroding biodiversity. My Master’s project seeks to uncover the impact of enrichment planting and vine-cutting on dung beetle communities in Malaysian Borneo.
I quite like pizza. I also quite like hill running, skiing, hiking in the Peak District, listening to podcasts and pizza.