Our Research

BIFoR aims to provide fundamental science, social science and cultural research of direct relevance to forested landscapes anywhere in the world. We make the evidence-based case for forests as part of one-planet living.

We are a virtual institute of over 100 academics, primarily from the schools of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences and Biosciences but also including members from Mathematics, Engineering, the Business School, International Development, Psychology, English, and elsewhere. 

Our research can be broadly sectioned into four key areas: 


The impact of climate and environmental change on woodlands

The BIFoR Free Air Carbon Dioxide (FACE) facility, the only such facility in the northern hemisphere. BIFoR FACE has placed scientists at Birmingham in a globally unique position to investigate the impact of climate change on trees. 

Research BIFoR FACE


The resilience of trees to invasive pests and disease 
As demonstrated powerfully by recent outbreaks of tree pests and diseases such as ash die-back, oak processionary moth, and phytophthora, current forestry and woodland management practices leave us vulnerable to catastrophic landscape change and economic losses. 

Research Forest Health


Big data approaches across space and deep time - including research in the areas of: Forest Ecology, Biogenic Volatiles, Environmental Dynamics, Forest Hydrology, Green House Gas Fluxes, Biodiversity and Biogeography and Paleobotany & Climate. 

Research Global 3


Understanding the wider importance of trees and forests to human and non-human actors - Mathematics of Forests, Cultural Research, Urban Forests and Green Infrastructure, Sustainable Development, Economics, Human Geography, Health and Wellbeing. Much of our interdisciplinary research is possible thanks to our Levehulme Trust funded, Forest Edge Doctoral Scholarship Programme 

Our research interdisciplinary

See details of all our Research Publications

See details of all Doctoral Research (48 students)

Find out how to Get Involved