Faculty of Arts, Business and Law
University of the Sunshine Coast
90 Sippy Downs Drive
Tropical Forests and People Research Centre (ML26)
Faculty of Arts, Business and Law
University of the Sunshine Coast
Locked Bag 4
MAROOCHYDORE DC QLD 4558
Our office location
Building B, Ground floor (Rm BG.03)
USC Sunshine Coast
Tel: +61 7 5456 5187
Office: Building B, Level 1, B1.08A
The Tropical Forests and People Research Centre brings together around 50 researchers interested in the interactions between people and tropical forests. The Centre is based around multidisciplinary projects and a desire of its members to work collaboratively to address complex problems associated with reforestation and forest management in the tropics.
Our members include social and biophysical scientists with expertise in forest reforestation and rehabilitation, ecology, forest science, silviculture, hydrology, soil science, anthropology, livelihood systems, economics, supply chains, finance and policy.
Research Manager / Senior Research Fellow
Mark is a senior researcher specialising in sustainable development, Indigenous community engagement, Indigenous community forestry, mining operations and mine-site rehabilitation. Mark has over 20 years’ experience working with private, public and NGO sector clients in Australia and internationally, including in the facilitation and management of multidisciplinary teams for project implementation. With a successful track record of completing projects on time and within budget Mark has a demonstrated capacity to work with a diversity of stakeholders, from the bush to the boardroom, to reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
Principal Research Fellow
Grahame's research interest is in tropical rainforest ecology and restoration, tropical peatland restoration, small holder and community forest management, and peat fire behaviour.
Principal Research Fellow
Dr Jack Baynes’ specialist areas of knowledge include plantation and native forest management, community forestry in developing countries and rural extension.
Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations
Director, Forest Industries Research Centre, Professor of Forestry Operations; Director, Australian Forest Operations Research Alliance (AFORA)
Professor Mark Brown's specialist areas of knowledge include forest transport efficiency, forest supply chain management and optimisation, biomass supply chain efficiency and driving innovation from applied research
Ginas vision is for the Wik and Wik Waya people to be able to harness their natural abilities to live productive, imaginative lives where they can move between their own country and mainstream Australian life. Community Development is Gina’s passion, and she is considered a strong leader, not only for the Wik and Wik Waya people of Aurukun for Aboriginal Australians on a National level.
Professor, Tropical Forest Restoration
I am a forest ecologist with a research focus on tropical forest regeneration and restoration. I also study how different approaches to forest restoration can enhance social and environmental outcomes.
Senior Research Fellow
Dr Bob Fisher's specialist areas of knowledge include community forestry, natural resource management, REDD+, poverty and conservation, protected area governance
Dr Nestor Gregorio is a forester with research interest on forest and landscape restoration. He is responsible for the implementation ACIAR funded FLR research projects in the Philippines. He leads research activities focusing on developing and testing different FLR models, and undertaking research activities related to policy development promoting the success of people-based forest restoration.
Madaline is an entomologist with a focus on integrated pest management, in particular biological control. Madaline is currently working on developing a biocontrol agent for galling insect pests of eucalypts in South East Asia and facilitating the development of smallholder agro-forestry in southern Lao PDR, using trees for fuel, food and timber.
Director, Tropical Forests and People Research Centre; Professor of Tropical Forestry
Professor John Herbohn's specialist areas of knowledge are related to smallholder and community forestry in the tropics. He is an expert in the areas of reforestation and forest restoration, particularly the degree of reforestation programs in tropical countries using mixed-species reforestation approaches that can form part of the livelihood strategies of smallholders and communities. Professor Herbohn also has an interest in rainforest ecology, especially in the area of forest recovery following selective logging. In addition, he is currently a non-executive director for a NZ forestry company.
USC Senior Research Fellow
a USC Research Fellow with expertise in adaptive and collaborative natural resource management with Indigenous communities in Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada.
Associate Professor, Plant Genetics
David leads the hardwood domestication and tree improvement program in Queensland focusing on spotted gums, Queensland sandalwood, Gympie messmate and lemon myrtle. He also leads a large FWPA funded project, characterising the wood properties of the southern pine (Pinus elliottii, P. caribaea and their hybrids).
Associate Professor, Psychology | Deputy Chair University Learning and Teaching Committee | Chair First Year Experience Reference Group
ARC Future Fellow
Andy's current research focuses on the measurement of conservation success and restoration of tropical forests through vine clearance and tree-planting. This work falls under two initiatives: FoRCE (Forest Restoration and Climate Experiment), a long-term study to understand the recovery of forests following disturbance; and HISP (Holistic Indicator Selection Protocol), a method for selecting and ranking measures of conservation success
John is a forester and social scientist with expertise in forest management, revegetation, ecosystem restoration, agroforestry, rural socio-ecological change, NRM extension, small-scale biomass energy systems, Indigenous land-use and Indigenous Protected Area management, qualitative research, editing, and project management.
Senior Research Fellow
Tony's research relates to genetic improvement, silviculture and forestry extension for high value tropical tree crops. This work has directly resulted in the development of improved genetic resources and increased investment in smallholder commercial tree planting. The work is aimed to address socio-economic and environmental issues associated with logging and deforestation. Tony leads international research teams (ACIAR-funded) investigating the technical, policy and socio-economic factors for successful smallholder-based commercial forestry in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Timor Leste, Indonesia and north Queensland.
Principal Research Fellow
Associate Professor Digby Race's research relates to understanding socio-economic challenges and opportunities for viable links between the agricultural, forestry and natural resource management sectors, in Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. In his current role, Digby leads an international research team exploring the socio-economic and policy dimensions of community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia, principally funded by ACIAR.
The Tropical Forests and People Research Centre includes Adjunct researchers who complement the team and extend the current and integral work into the areas of ecology, hydrology and biology.
Their expertise, often significant track records and experience provide additional depth for the team and provide key input into grant development, peer review of publications and mentoring of researchers across the team.
Adjunct staff play a vital role in strategic planning activities across the year and provide expert advice on how the Centre can position itself for the future growth and increase social and economic impact locally, nationally and globally.
Through ACIAR and other partners, researchers across the Centre collaborate with various national and international and people including:
Research Staff (Philippines)
- Ofelia Moreno
- Nova Parcia
- Crisanto Solano
- Rogelio Tripoli
- Mark Ygana
- Dr Paul Dargusch (UQ)
- Dr Bob Congdon (JCU)
- Dr Wolfram Dressler (UMelb)
- Dr Hartmut Holzknecht
- Professor Sampurno Bruijnzeel (Virje University Amsterdam, Faculty of Science - Earth Sciences)
- Dr Iljavan Meerveld (University of Zurich, Critical Zone Hydrology Group)
- Professor David Foster (Harvard University, Harvard Forest)
- Dr David Orwig (Harvard University, Harvard Forest)
- Professor Mark Ashton (Yale, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies)
- Professor John Bliss (Oregon State University)
- Dr Victor Asio (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Henry Goltiano (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Eduardo Mangaoang (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Yolanda Mangaoang (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Lilian Nunez (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Arturo Pasa (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Dennis Peque (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Anatolio Polinar (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Lemuel Preciados (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Arsenio Ramos (Visayas State University, College of Agriculture and Food Science)
- Dr Eugene Bautista (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
- Emma Germano (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
- Danny Lendio (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
- Bonifacio Polinar (Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources)
The problems our group are exploring are varied and complex. In order for us to find solutions it is essential for us to partner with a range of forestry organisations, societies, community groups, academic and government groups. We have the brightest minds working together to help improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities and help them generate food and cash.
The impact for the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre may be largely attributed to long-term partnerships and networks with leading international researchers, policy makers and NGOs across a number of regions, in particular Asia-Pacific and Australia.
The Centre engages in partnerships where both or multiple partners are treated equally and valued for the strengths, knowledge and experiences they bring to the collaborative project/s. It is through these long-term and beneficial partnerships that the true impact of our work can be seen and grown from.
- Harvard University
- Yale University
- The Nature Conservancy
- University of Massachusettes
- World Resources Institute
- Sao Paulo University
- Institute of Foresters of Australia
- University of Jambi
- Riau and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
- Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
- Hancock Forest Management Group
- Visayas State University (Philippines)
- The PNG Forest Authority
- The University of Papua New Guinea
- South Pacific Commission
- Wet Tropics Management Authority
- The University of Natural Resources and Environment (PNG)
- Green Coast Resources
- Northern Territory Government
- Department of Australian Prime Minister and Cabinet
- Pacific Island Projects
- Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
- HQPlantations Pty Ltd
- Private Forestry Services Queensland
- Southern Cross University
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS)
- University of Saskatchewan
- People and Reforestation in the Tropics: a Network for Education Research Synthesis (PARTNERS)
- University of Queensland
- Queensland University of Technology
- University of Connecticut
- Australian National University
- South Dakota State University
- Institut Pertanian, Bogor (IPB, Forestry Faculty)
- Global Green Growth Institute
- Sabah Forestry Department and The Nature Conservancy
- Asia-Pacific Network For Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation
- The Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources
- The PNG Forest Research Institute
- Goroka Forest Office (PNG)
- Conservation International
- The World Agroforestry Centre
- Wik Timber
- Rio Tinto
- Gumatj Corporation Gulkula Mining
- The University of Western Australia
- Vanuatu Department of Forests
- Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
- Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service
- New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
- James Cook University
Research students are fundamental to the success of the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre.
We strive to provide:
- Interesting projects and research support based around existing projects;
- Collegiate, stimulating and challenging environment e.g. active lab group driven by students;
- Supervisory teams with broad skill base;
- Generic field skills; and
- ’systems thinking’ skills and capacity to work as part of trans-disciplinary teams.
|Ming Quang Phan||Assessing the Potential of Enrichment Plantings in North Queensland, Australia to Increase Timber Production with Tropical Forests and the Implication for Forest Management and Restorationemail@example.com|
|Bhawana KC||Implication of Migration on the Livelihoods and Community Forest in the Middle Hills Region of Nepalfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Liz Ota||Reforestation and Livelihoods: Socioeconomic and Financial Outcomes of Smallholder Reforestation in the Tropicsemail@example.com|
|Micah Scudder||Strategies for Scaling-up Eco-forestry Operations in Papua New Guineafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kurt Von Kleist||Are biodiversity provisions outlined in Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) being attained? A case study from the Philippines.||email@example.com|
|Kanchana Wiset||Models for Engaging Communities in Forest Landscape Restoration in Asiafirstname.lastname@example.org|