In the video below Professor Rob MacKenzie describes the focus of the institute's research and the importance of understanding how forests work.
BIFoR aims to be an internationally leading Institute that will address two fundamental and interrelated challenges:
The impact of climate and environmental change on woodlands
We will establish a unique long-term experimental facility, staffed by globally leading researchers, which will allow us to study trees in their native environment. The facility will allow us to combine field studies with controlled environment studies on campus. The field facility will enable trees to be exposed to elevated concentrations of carbon dioxide
and allow us to manipulate temperature, rainfall and nutrient supply. We will determine the impacts of these environmental variables on the structure of the forest, including its biodiversity, and the way in which it functions, including carbon storage, nutrient and energy cycling, hydrology, and interactions with pests and pathogens.
The resilience of trees to invasive pests and diseases
We will address: tree defence, susceptibility and resistance under current and future climatic and environmental scenarios; disease systematics and diagnostics; genomic, metabolomic and bioinformatic tools for discovery of biomarkers of toxicity that are predictive of whole plant disease; disease epidemiology and modelling; invasiveness; methods of control, containment and mitigation; and, from a broader systems perspective, innovative approaches to manage risks to forest health.
Download the presentation of the BIFoR vision (PDF 1.87Mb)
For further information please contact:
Professor Rob MacKenzie
Director of Birmingham Institute of Forest Research
Telephone +44 (0)121 414 6142