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Tom joined Forest Research as a PhD researcher in 2018 and now works for Forest Research as a Data Analyst/Modeller. His current research focus is on investigating the potential for alternative and emerging tree species to adapt our forests to the challenges of a changing climate, using a network of both UK experiments and European experiments established under the REINFFORCE project. Tom is also in the process of finishing his PhD which focuses on assessing the resilience of UK forests to extreme climatic events, with a particular focus on drought.
Tom completed a Masters in Environmental Forestry at the University of Bangor, which focused on forest habitat networks, reintroduction biology and dispersal ecology; his thesis project used eco-evolutionary, spatially explicit individual based modelling to improve the reintroduction success of large carnivores.
Prior to joining Forest Research, Tom has worked in a range of industries, including the private forest sector, counter fraud analytics, biosecurity, and conservation, both in the UK and New Zealand.
Chair of the British Ecological Society’s Forest Ecology Group
Member of the Association for Tree-ring Research
Member of the Royal Forestry Society
Member of the British Ecological Society
Associate of the Institute of Chartered Foresters
This project aims to quantify the historic impact and legacy of extreme climatic events on UK forests using tree-ring chronologies, climate and soil data. It focuses on species of major importance to UK forestry in order to provide the information basis for building adaptive capacity into future forest planning and decision making.
Understanding how we can increase the resilience of forest systems to future extreme drought events is increasingly important as these events become more frequent and intense. Diversifying production forests using intimate mixtures of trees with complementary functional traits is considered as one promising silvicultural approach that may increase drought resilience. However, the direction and magnitude […]
As our climate warms, the pressures on global forest ecosystems from extreme climate events are expected to increase across much of the world (Anderegg et al., 2020; Brodribb et al., 2020). Of particular concern is the increasing threat to tree health and productivity posed by drought. Despite a predominantly cool maritime climate, forest ecosystems in […]
Many studies quantify short-term drought impact on tree growth relative to pre-drought growth averages. However, fewer studies examine the extent to which droughts of differing severity differentially impact tree growth or shape stand dynamics. Focusing on three droughts in high and low density stands of Pinus sylvestris in Scotland, we calculated pre-drought growth averages using […]
Understanding the impacts of extreme drought on forest productivity requires a comprehensive assessment of tree and forest resilience. However, current approaches to quantifying resilience limit our understanding of forest response dynamics, recovery trajectories and drought legacies by constraining the temporal scale and resolution of assessment. We compared individual tree growth histories with growth forecasted using […]
Buras, A., Ovenden, T., Rammig, A., Zang, C.S., 2022. Refining the standardized growth change method for pointer year detection: Accounting for statistical bias and estimating the deflection period. Dendrochronologia 74, 125964. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dendro.2022.125964
Ovenden, T.S., Perks, M.P., Forrester, D.I., Mencuccini, M., Rhoades, J., Thompson, D.L., Stokes, V.J. and Jump, A.S., 2022. Intimate mixtures of Scots pine and Sitka spruce do not increase resilience to spring drought. Forest Ecology and Management, 521, p.120448. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120448
Ovenden, T.S., Perks, M.P., Clarke, T.-K., Mencuccini, M., Jump, A.S., 2021. Threshold Response to
Extreme Drought Shifts Inter-Tree Growth Dominance in Pinus sylvestris. Front.
For. Glob. Chang. 4, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2021.737342
Ovenden, T.S., Perks, M.P., Clarke, T‐K, Mencuccini, M, Jump, A.S. Life after recovery: Increased resolution of forest resilience assessment sheds new light on post‐drought compensatory growth and recovery dynamics. J Ecol. 2021; 00: 1– 14. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13576
Thompson, D.L., Ovenden, T.S., Pennycott, T., Nager, R.G., 2020. The prevalence and source of plastic incorporated into nests of five seabird species on a small offshore island. Mar Pollut Bull. 154:111076. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111076
Ovenden, T.S., Palmer, S.C.F., Travis, J.M.J., Healey, J.R., 2019. Improving reintroduction success in large carnivores through individual-based modelling: How to reintroduce Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) to Scotland. Biol. Conserv. 234, 140–153. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2019.03.035
Ovenden, T.S., 2019. The potential for lynx reintroduction to Scotland: Innovative modelling provides robust scientific evidence to inform decision making. DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.35390.84806 (Policy brief).