Dr Tom Swinfield

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Background

The Harapan Rainforest (Hutan Harapan) represents more than 20 per cent of the remaining lowland forest in Sumatra but is in a degraded condition due to historic exploitative timber extraction and under threat from illegal oil palm expansion. This is a significant land management problem.

The silvicultural techniques necessary to restore the forest, while realising the commercial and natural capital of the land are not well understood. My work is focused on finding cost-effective, research-driven solutions to direct management. Primarily this involves the establishment of large scale silvicultural experiments, optimising survey techniques (both traditional and remote sensing) and modelling species distributions.

I support the research at Harapan, through coordination with the department manager Elva Gemita and her staff. In addition, I work closely with a wide group of visiting researchers, collaborators and government officials.

I am an experienced tropical forest researcher with a strong statistical and data management background. A large part of my work involves training Harapan staff in these skills and ensuring the use of optimised sampling/experimental designs.

Partners and Collaboration

  • Rhett Harrison, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
  • Elva Gemita, P.T. REKI
  • Mangara Silalahi, Burung Indonesia
  • David Coomes, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Contact

Thomas Swinfield

Dr Tom Swinfield

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL

thomas.swinfield@rspb.org.uk

@tomswinfield

Research Gate

Google Scholar

Specialisms

New methods and technologies Tropical forests

Selected Publications

The need for long-term remedies for Indonesia’s forest fires

In late 2015, an environmental disaster with global consequences unfolded in Southeast Asia. Unusually extensive and persistent fires in Indonesia razed thousands of square kilometers of tropical forest and peatland, casting a toxic cloud of smoky haze over the region and dumping billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Similar fires have occurred ...

Date
14 January 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Tom Swinfield
Authors
Chisholm, R.A., Wijedasa, L.S. & Swinfield, T.
Published in
Conservation Biology 30: 5-6
View publication Details
International International species Tropical forests

Drivers of aboveground wood production in a lowland tropical forest of West Africa: teasing apart the roles of tree density, tree diversity, soil phosphorus, and historical logging

Tropical forests currently play a key role in regulating the terrestrial carbon cycle and abating climate change by storing carbon in wood. However, there remains considerable uncertainty as to whether tropical forests will continue to act as carbon sinks...

Date
01 June 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Tom Swinfield
Authors
Jucker, T., Sanchez, A.C., Lindsell, J.A., Allen, H.D., Amable, G.S. & Coomes, D.A.
Published in
Ecology and Evolution 6: 4004-4017
View publication Details
International International species Tropical forests

Accelerating tropical forest restoration through the selective removal of pioneer species

In this study we examine the hypothesis that the selective removal of abundant pioneers in the understory of recovering selectively logged forests can improve the composition of forest stands and accelerate succession. 

Date
01 December 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Tom Swinfield
Authors
Roki Afriandib, Ferry Antonib, Rhett D. Harrison
Published in
Forest Ecology and Management 381
View publication Details
International species Tropical forests

Restoration of logged humid tropical forests: An experimental programme at Harapan Rainforest, Indonesia

We present an overview of research, including three planned experiments designed to test the economic viability of large-scale restoration treatments, in a former logging concession at Harapan Rainforest (98,455 ha), Indonesia. 

Date
23 March 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr Tom Swinfield
Authors
Rhett D. Harrison
Published in
Tropical Conservation Science: Vol 8(1): 4-16
View publication Details
Indonesia International Tropical forests