Forest Ecology and Silviculture

How disturbances, competition, topography, soils and climate shape the occurrence and abundance of species, and how this knowledge can inform better forest management.

Academic staff

The following staff are available to supervise honours and masters research in the field of forest ecology and silviculture.

Professor Patrick Baker

Research on forest dynamics, silviculture, and reconstructing past climates.

Project topics:

  • Historical dynamics of lowland Huon pine forests in southwestern Tasmania
  • Seedling dynamics in seasonal evergreen forest in western Thailand
  • Dendroecology of mixed eucalypt forests in East Gippsland
  • Climate sensitivity of northern range-limit snow gum

Email: patrick.baker@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Lauren Bennett

Research in the effects of disturbances, like fire and climate change, on the ecosystem processes that underpin carbon and nutrient cycles

Email: ltb@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Sabine Kasel

Research investigating the effects of management and climate change on ecosystem processes in native forests and restored landscapes.

Project topics:

  • Does retention harvesting improve the biodiversity reservoir of Victoria’s wet forests?
  • Seedbank contribution to post-disturbance vegetation establishment
  • Environmental drivers of plant community assembly in Victoria’s temperate rainforests

Email: skasel@unimelb.edu.au

Associate Professor Craig Nitschke

Research on the impact of management, disturbance and climate on forest ecosystems, adaptation to climate change and the sustainable management of forests.

Project topics:

  • Does phytophthora shape species composition at fine-scales?
  • How does forest structure influence dispersal of plant species?
  • Determining the future distributions of invasive plant species

Email: craign@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Luba Volkova

Forest and peat fires, greenhouse gas accounting, bushfire fuels and inventory, model simulation of GHG emissions under a range of management scenarios, and REDD+.

Project topics:

  • Productivity of degraded peat swamp forests

Email: lubav@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Chris Weston

Studies in forest net productivity, nutrient and carbon cycles, the effects of fire on forest carbon balance, black carbon formation and impact of climate change on forest fuel accumulation.

Project topics:

  • Eucalyptus regnans regeneration productivity following 2009 wildfire

Email: weston@unimelb.edu.au

Dr Kathy Allen

Research on forest dynamics, silviculture, and reconstructing past climates

Email: kathryn.allen@unimelb.edu.au