Professor David Coomes

Head of Forest Ecology and Conservation Group at Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

Director of the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute
Head of Forest Ecology and Conservation Group, Department of Plant Sciences

Conserving the world’s dwindling biological diversity is one of the most pressing issues facing mankind. David Coomes leads a research group that is actively engaged in addressing these issues, as well as tackling more fundamental ecological questions.

Focusing on forest conservation and ecology, his research uses large databases and modern computational approaches, alongside traditional field approaches. This includes:

  • Assessing the impact of land-use change on carbon and biodiversity using LiDAR and hyperspectral sensing
  • Measuring carbon storage in forests using airborne and space-borne technologies
  • Evaluating the success of carbon projects aimed at reducing deforestation in developing countries
  • Researching the effects of introduced organisms on forest communities and developing control strategies
  • Species distribution modelling to understand the effects on climate change on biological diversity and trait evolution
  • Developing new biological scaling theories, and confirming their significance by statistical analyses of forest inventory data
  • Simulation modelling to examine the responses of forests to environmental change