Name: Robin Hayward

Project Title: Plant community composition across age-classes in logged tropical forests: Implications for long-term recovery

Cohort: 2017/18

Institution: University of Stirling & Centre for Ecology and Hydrology




My research looks at the ways in which tropical rain forests recover following selective logging of valuable timber species. Using the Danum Valley Conservation Area in Malaysian Borneo as my primary study site, my PhD compares the compositions of tree communities at a variety of times since logging. I am also directly measuring the survivorship of seedlings and saplings in areas which have been historically logged. These data will reveal new insights into the processes and rates of succession in tropical plant communities following anthropogenic disturbance. This will then be communicated to inform development of future management/conservation practices in the tropics.

Before starting this PhD, I was based at the University of York, completing my masters degree in environmental science. My thesis focused on the relationship between epiphytes and their hosts in an Indonesian rain forest. Canopy ecology continues to be an area in which I am particularly interested and I have since presented this work in a variety of contexts. I am also involved with the Global LAI (Leaf Area Index) Project, which seeks to explore questions relating to canopy structure through large hemispherical photography datasets.

As well as my research I am interested in science communication and using social media to reach a broader audience. I have guest hosted a range of science-themed twitter accounts (as well as my own) and have helped organise the publicly available biology conference BTCon18. Offline, I have been involved in Pint of Science and have corresponded with primary school classes to answer their rain forest questions from my direct experience and from current scientific knowledge.


Publications/Conference talks/Posters:

  • Pfeifer, M., Gonsamo, A., Woodgate, W., Cayuela, L., Marshall, A. R., Ledo, A., Paine, T. C. E., Marchant, R., Burt, A., Calders, K., Courtney-Mustaphi, C., Cuni-Sanches, A., Deere, N. J., Denu, D., Gonzalez de Tanzago, J., Hayward, R., Lau, A., Macia, M. J., Olivier, P. I., Pellikka, P., Seki, H., Shirima, D., Trevithick, R., Wedeaux, B., Wheeler, C., Munishi, P. K. T., Martin, T., Mustari, A., Platts, P. (2018) Tropical forest canopies and their relationships with climate and disturbance: results from a global dataset of consistent field-based measurements. Forest Ecosystems, 5(7). DOI:
  • Hayward, R., Martin, T., Utterridge, T., Mustari, A. & Marshall, A. (2017) Are neotropical predictors of forest epiphyte-host relationships consistent in Indonesia? Journal of Tropical Ecology, 33(2), pp. 178-182. DOI:
  • Talk: Scottish Tropical Ecology and Biology Student Meeting 2018 – Selective Logging: what grows back and why?
  • Poster: ATBC 2018 – Epiphytes and their hosts: predictors in Wallacea
  • Poster: IAPETUS Conference 2018 – Selective Logging: Plant community recovery in a Malaysian rain forest
  • Poster: LGBTSTEMinar 2018 – Epiphytes and their hosts: predictors across the tropics
  • Poster: Stirling BES Winter Symposium 2017 – Selective Logging: how do plant communities recover in a South East Asian rain forest?

Get in touch:


Twitter: @CanopyRobin

Personal webpage:

Department webpage: