Third annual BIFoR community meeting

30 and 31 January 2019

The third annual Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) community meeting #BIFoRCom19 was our most successful yet, with over 100 people attending over the 2 days.  On day one Professor Nicola Spence, newly appointed co-director of BIFoR and Chief Plant Health Officer for DEFRA opened the 2 day meeting with a keynote address. We then heard from 11 speakers about the wide range of research underway. The PowerPoint presentations of most of our speakers can be found by clicking on the title of the talk below. 

On day two we heard from 13 speakers about the ongoing research at the BIFoR Free-Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) facility in Staffordshire.  Prof Colin Prentice FRS, of Imperial College London gave the key note speech.   The PowerPoint presentations of most of our speakers can be found by clicking on the title of the talk below. 

If you attended and you left feeling you wanted to collaborate and feel you are missing any information to move forward with an idea please do get in touch.

Poster Presentation

On both days we were delighted to have on display over 20 posters which showed the vast array of research under underway at the University of Birmingham and with our collaborators related to forested landscapes.  Most of the posters from the 2 days are also available online.

Third annual BIFoR Community Meeting programme, including speaker biographies. 

Day One


Key note speech, The Tree Health Resilience Strategy: building the resilience of our trees, woods and forests to pests and disease, Prof Nicola Spence, DEFRA


Why plants haven’t properly colonised the land, Prof Jeremy Pritchard


The Uses of Forest History, Dr Frank Uekötter 


The new £1m, Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship Scheme (DSP) Forest Edge, Rob MacKenzie and Simon Dixon


Past, Present and Future of Natural Capital in Forest Enterprise England, Jacob Waller, Forestry Commission



Priming trees for self defence against pathogens, Dr Estrella Luna-Diez

Development of tools for dissection of oak-tree diseases, Dr Graeme Kettles 

Evaluating forest biodiversity: a macroecological perspective, Dr Tom Matthews

A new governance model for the city’s green estate, Nick Grayson, University of Birmingham/Birmingham City Council 

The multiple benefits of green infrastructure, including its impact (alongside urban form) on air quality at block-to-borough scales.  Dr Emma Ferranti  

The role of strategic green infrastructure in reducing exposure to road transport pollution at street scale, for improved public health, Dr James Levine 

Low-cost sensors using raspberry pi technology – The leaves on the line problem: High resolution leaf fall monitoring and low adhesion forecasting using hemispherical Near Infrared imagery, Jennifer Kirby, University of Birmingham


Day Two


CO2 and carbon uptake by land ecosystems: towards a synthesis of theory, observations and models, Prof Colin Prentice, Imperial College London 

An overview of the BIFoR Free-Air Carbon Enrichment (FACE) facility, Rob MacKenzie, Director of BIFoR

Insects as key drivers of change in woodland systems under climate change, Liam Crowley, University of Birmingham

Fungi of the future: Assessing the effects of elevated CO2 on fungal communities in temperate forests, Aileen Baird, University of Birmingham

Quantitative modelling of root growth and carbon allocation bridging theory and experiment, Clare Ziegler, University of Birmingham

Soil respiration and biogeochemistry at BIFoR FACE, Angeliki Kourmouli, University of Birmingham










Afternoon session, chaired by Prof Bill Bloss, University of Birmingham 

Drivers of differences in carbon turnover rates between global vegetation models, Dr Tom Pugh, University of Birmingham 

UAV-based measurements of Solar Induced Fluorescence under elevated CO2 in a mature oak canopy, Dr Kadmiel Maseyk and Dr Rick Thomas   

Nitrogen cycling and sensing in forest soils, Dr Sami Ullah and Dr Aleksandar Radu, University of Keele    

Refreshment break 

How does CO2 enrichment influence leaf litter decomposition rates and within season tree growth?  Dr Alan Jones or Dr Martha Crockett, Earthwatch Institute

Assessing elevated CO2 effect on the physiological performance of seedlings of the most representative species found in Mill Haft, Dr Carolina Mayoral

A Distributed Heat Pulse Sensor Network for the quantification of subsurface heat and water fluxes, speaker TBC


Please contact Deanne Brettle on if you have any queries 


BIFoR mission tree