Professor John Herbohn | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor John Herbohn

PhD James Cook, MCom James Cook, GradDipAcc James Cook, BSc(Hons) James Cook

  • Director, Tropical Forests and People Research Centre
  • Professor of Tropical Forestry
  • Forest Research Institute
+61 7 5456 5187
Office location
Sunshine Coast
John Herbohn


Professor John Herbohn is the Director of the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre at UniSC. John's core research interest is in the field of smallholder and community forestry in tropical countries. The focus of much of his recent research has been on investigating how to improve the success of reforestation by smallholders and communities. His research spans socioeconomic, biophysical and policy disciplines and uses systems thinking as an integrating tool. John is particularly interested in mixed-species reforestation approaches that can form part of the livelihood strategies of smallholders and communities.

Follow John's research through the Tropical Forestry Research Group.

Professional Memberships 

Certified Practising Accountant

Institute of Foresters of Australia

Research Grants

Project name Investigators Funding body Year
Systematic map of literature related to mixed-species reforestation in the tropics J.L Herbohn, lead author with J. Firn, D. Lamb, W. Dressler, Engel CIFOR (US$20,000) 2014
Enhancing the implementation of community forestry approaches in Papua New Guinea J.L Herbohn, project leader ACIAR PRoject FST/2011/057 (A$2,088,234)  2013–2017
Improving watershed rehabilitation outcomes in the Philippines using a systems approach J.L Herbohn, project leader ACIAR ASEM/2010/050 2012–2017

Potential Research Projects for HDR & Honours Students

Field-based projects in Philippines, PNG, North Queensland and Fraser Island in a wide range of areas related to improving the outcomes of reforestation and related to John's areas of expertise. Possible projects include the following:

Design of mixed species plantations

Forest dynamics of tropical and subtropical forests based on long term plot data from NQ and Fraser Island

Socio-economic assessment of reforestation programs

Carbon dynamics in tropical forests

Climate change policy related to tropical forests

Multidimensional reporting systems for the forests

Sapflow and water relations in tropical plantations

Nutrient cycling dynamics in tropical plantations

Impacts of plantations on soil properties

Research areas

  • Restoration of Tropical Forests
  • Forest Dynamics of Tropical Forests
  • Forestry Economics
  • Tropical Mixed Species Plantations
  • Socioeconomic Aspects of Tropical Reforestation
  • Hydrological and Nutrient Impacts of Reforestation
  • Small-scale and Community Forestry
  • Carbon Dynamics in Tropical Forests
  • Climate Change Policy and Forests
  • Multidimensional Reporting Systems
  • Management of Tropical Forests

Selected Research Publications

Gregorio, NO, Herbohn, JL, Harrison, SR, Smith, C (2015). A systems approach to improving the quality of seedlings for reforestation, agroforestry and tree farming in the Philippines. Land Use Policy, 47, pp. 29–41.
Nguyen H, Lamb D, Herbohn J, Firn J (2014) Designing Mixed Species Tree Plantations for the Tropics: Balancing Ecological Attributes of Species with Landholder Preferences in the Philippines. PLoS ONE 9(4): e95267. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095267
Le, HD, Smith, C and Herbohn, JL (2014). What drives the success of reforestation projects in tropical developing countries? The case of the Philippines. Global Environmental Change, 2, pp. 334–348.
Meadows, J, Emtage, N and Herbohn, J (2014). Engaging Australian Small-Scale Lifestyle Landowners in Natural Resource Management Programs — perceptions, past experiences and policy implications. Land Use Policy, 36, pp. 618–627.
Nguyen H, Firn J, Lamb D and Herbohn J (2014) Wood density: a tool to find complimentary species for the design of mixed species plantations. Forest Ecology and Management, 334, pp. 106–113.

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.

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