Organising Committee

Forest Edge 

Nine Douwes Dekker, Doctoral Researcher, University of Birmingham, BIFoR

Nine is performing her research at the BIFoR FACE facility in Staffordshire, looking at soil greenhouse gas emissions under elevated carbon dioxide, and what control these emissions. She completed her Masters qualification (MSc Earth and Environment) at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), in which she focused on soil biology and chemistry. She has also worked as a consultant in agriculture, with a focus on sustainable soil management. 

Ben Howard, Doctoral researcher, University of Birmingham, BIFoR

Ben is fascinated by and curious about the complexities and intricacies of the natural world. He is never happier than when he is outside (especially in Yorkshire!), surrounded by wind, waves and water, trees and forests, moors and mountains. With a background in environmental and forest management, he is especially interested in translating research into practice by fostering multi-directional interactions and feedbacks to enable the effective development of targeted, useful and usable research which identifies, answers and addresses the most important environmental challenges to society. 


Amy Gresham, Doctoral Researcher, Bangor University 

Amy’s research background is in behavioural ecology, looking at how animals alter their behaviours in response to their environment and the implications for biodiversity conservation, with a focus on woodland environments. She holds a BSc (Hons) Zoology (University of Nottingham, 2016) and an MSc Conservation & Biodiversity (University of Exeter, 2017). For her MSc project, she studied how forest edges influenced nest site selection of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) in the French Pyrenees.  Her doctoral research at Bangor University focuses on resource use of fallow deer (Dama dama) in the woodlands of North Wales. 

Ed Pyne, Doctoral researcher, Bangor University

Ed has been a practicing climbing and consulting arboriculturist since 2012. He completed a biological science degree at Cardiff University in 2015. Throughout his degree, he was actively involved in fungal ecology research both domestically and internationally. He has been involved with projects investigating the development of heart rot in oak and beech as well as projects assessing the diversity of fungal endophytes in functional sapwood. He doctoral researcher investigates the chemical ecology of Armillaria (honey fungus). His interests are focused on providing research for tree care practitioners. 


Kate Hand,Doctoral researcher, Open University 

Kate is a final year PhD student looking to identify methods of collecting more and better quality of data on urban trees to improve the estimation of urban tree ecosystem services. Assessing opportunities around citizen science is a central part of this, both as a method of collecting data but also to engage the public with their local trees and the benefits they provide. Prior to starting her PhD she worked with Forest Research, focusing on evaluating the ecosystem service provision of urban trees of different stature to inform urban tree species selection. 

Holly Woo, Doctoral Researcher, Open University

Holly is studying the impact of urbanisation on ancient woodland ecosystems. Following an MSc in taxonomy and biodiversity she was awarded a research scholarship at the University of Tokyo studying avian ecomorphology. She worked in museum collections management for several years, developing a deeper interest in botany through curation of herbarium specimens. Work with the Field Studies Council and conservation volunteering inspired her to explore ancient woodland in more detail.