Professor Robin Chazdon - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Professor Robin Chazdon

PhD, Cornell US

  • Professor, Tropical Forest Restoration
Sunshine Coast
Professor Robin Chazdon

Professor Robin Chazdon recently retired from 28 years of teaching at the University of Connecticut, USA and has been studying tropical forest ecology for more than 45 years.

Robin served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biotropica, as President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and as a member-at-large of the governing board of the Ecological Society of America and was the Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation from 2014-2019. She led the NSF-funded Research Coordination Network PARTNERS (People and Reforestation in the Tropics), focused on understanding the social and ecological drivers of reforestation in the tropics. She conducts collaborative research on tropical forest succession, assisted natural regeneration, and forest recovery from logging and disturbances.

Robin is actively engaged in the science, policy, and practice of forest and landscape restoration. She is a Senior Research Associate with the International Institute of Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a Senior Fellow with the World Resources Institute Global Restoration Initiative and currently works with the FAO Task Force on Best Practices for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. She also works as a consultant on Forest and Landscape Restoration around the world.

Professor Robin Chazdon joined the staff of the University of the Sunshine Coast in October 2016 and works with long-term studies of forest recovery following logging and silvicultural treatments in North Queensland. Robin is currently based within the Tropical Forests and People Research Centre.

Stay up to date with Professor Robin Chazdon on the following sites:

ResearchGate: Robin L Chazdon

Google Scholar: Robin L Chazdon

Professional Memberships:
  • Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • International Society of Tropical Foresters
  • Honorary Fellow, Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (2020)
  • Highly Cited Researcher, Clarivate Analytics (2018)
  • Finalist Prince Bernhard Chair (2014)
  • Woman of Innovation Award in Research Innovation and Leadership (2014)
  • Member Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (2012)
  • Honors Faculty of the Year (2005)
  • Provost's Award for Excellence in Research (2004)
  • President's Medal British Ecological Society (2003)
Current research projects
  • Long-term successional dynamics of wet tropical forests in NE Costa Rica
  • Forests and citizen science: A pilot program for ecosystem services and landscape connectivity in regenerating forests on small private farms
  • Long-term recovery of tropical forests following logging and silviculture in Far North Queensland
  • Decision-support tools for planning forest restoration
  • Frameworks for implementing and monitoring restoration based on principles
Past research projects 
  • Costa Rica Debt for Nature Fund; 2016-2019; Forests, riparian corridors and citizen Science: A pilot program for restoring ecosystem services and landscape connectivity in regenerating forests on small private farms (with the Organization for Tropical Studies)
  • National Geographic Society; 2015-2016; Seedling regeneration and tree-frugivore interaction networks during tropical forest regeneration
  • NSF, CNH, 2013-2019; RCN: Tropical Reforestation Network: Building a socio-ecological understanding of reforestation in the tropics (Principal Investigator)
  • NSF, DEB 2012-2017; Collaborative Research/LTREB Renewal: Successional pathways and rates of change in tropical forests of Brazil, Costa Rica and Mexico (Principal Investigator)
  • NSF, CNH, 2011-2015; Collaborative Research: The emergence of effective governance arrangements for tropical forest ecosystems (Co-investigator)
  • NSF, Population and Community Ecology, 2011-2014; Collaborative Research: Modelling successional vegetation dynamics in wet tropical forests at multiple scales: Integrating neighbourhood effects, functional traits, and phylogeny
Top 5 publications 

Chazdon, R. L., D. Lindenmayer, M. R. Guariguata, R. Crouzeilles, J. M. Rey Benayas, and E. Lazos. 2020. Fostering natural forest regeneration on former agricultural land through economic and policy interventions. Environmental Research Letters Reviews 15:

Chazdon, R. L. and P. H. S. Brancalion. 2019. Restoring forests as a means to many ends. Science 365:24-25

Chazdon, R. L. E. N. Broadbent, D. M. A. Rozendaal, F. Bongers, A. M. A. Zambrano, T. M. Aide, P. Balvanera, J. M. Becknell, V. Boukili, P. H. S. Brancalion, et al. 2016. Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics. Sci. Adv. 2, e1501639.

Chazdon, R. L. 2014. Second growth: The promise of tropical forest regeneration in an age of deforestation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL. 449 pages. [now translated into Portuguese]

Chazdon, R. L. 2008. Beyond deforestation: Restoring forests and ecosystem services on degraded lands. Science 320: 1458-1460.

Research areas

  • Forest regeneration and restoration
  • Plant population and community ecology
  • Landscape ecology
  • Socio-ecological systems

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.

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