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

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Professor Robin Chazdon

  • 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. Robin currently serves as the Executive Director of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation and Director of 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 continues to conduct research on successional pathways, forest dynamics, drivers of land-use change, and functional ecology of trees in tropical forests.

Robin is moving into the science-policy arena in forest landscape restoration. Robin 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, where she is working to enhance decision support tools for landscape restoration and promote natural regeneration in restoration planning.

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)
  • Ecological Society of America
  • British Ecological Society
  • 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 forest in NE Costa Rica,
Forests and citizen science: A pilot program for ecosystem services and landscape connectivity in regenerating forests on small private farms (with the Organization for Tropical Studies)

Past research projects 
  • National Geographic Society; 2015-2016; Seedling regeneration and tree-frugivore interaction networks during tropical forest regeneration
  • 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: Modeling successional vegetation dynamics in wet tropical forests at multiple scales: Integrating neighbourhood effects, functional traits, and phylogeny
Top 5 publications 

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.
Chao, A., R. L. Chazdon, R. K. Colwell, and T.-J. Shen. 2005. A new statistical approach for assessing similarity of species composition with incidence and abundance data. Ecology Letters 8: 148-159.
Chazdon, R. L. (2003). Tropical forest recovery: legacies of human intervention and natural disturbances. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 6: 51-71.

Research grants
Project name Investigator(s) Funding Body Year Focus  
Tropical Reforestation Network: Building a socio-ecological
understanding of tropical reforestation
Robin L. Chazdon (PI), Thomas Rudel (Co-PI), Michael R. Willig (Co-PI) US NSF Coupled Natural and Human Systems 2013-2018 The PARTNERS Network addresses major deficits in our understanding of reforestation in the topics. We focus on three thematic areas: 1) changing social and ecological drivers of forest transitions; 2) interactions between climate variability and reforestation; and 3) socio-economic and ecological tradeoffs of reforestation pathways in tropical regions  

* PI = Principal Investigator, Co-I = Co-Investigator

Research areas

  • Forest regeneration
  • Plant population and community ecology
  • Landscape ecology

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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