Professor J.R. Healey - Staff Profile

image of Dr Healey

Professor John Healey
Professor of Forest Sciences

Thoday Building, room S7


Tel: 01248 383703 (from U.K.)
+44 1248 383703 (International)

Responsibilities within SENRGY/BU

Centre for Integrated Research in the Rural Environment, Co-director
College of Natural Sciences, Director of Research

Qualifications and Membership of Professional Bodies

BA Botany (University of Oxford)
PhD (University of Cambridge)
Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters

Research Interests

Ecology, management and ecosystem services of forests and agroforestry systems, with particular emphasis on tropical and upland environments. Biodiversity conservation in protection and production forests; invasive woody species. Forest restoration and remediation of degraded and post-industrial land. Sustainable forest management and policy including: climate change mitigation; Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation; reduced impact logging; silviculture; secondary and buffer-zone forest management; community participation; monitoring. Forest ecology including: natural regeneration; resistance and resilience of forests to disturbance; succession; landscape; climate change adaptation.  Ecosystem ecology across a range of forest, agroforestry, agricultural and upland land uses: nutrient and carbon cycling; sustainable intensification.

Research Students

Sian Rowlands. Understanding the wider environmental impacts of bracken control methods, including the use of livestock. (Co-supervised with Dave Chadwick and David Styles).

Owain Barton. Modelling an expanding roe deer population in Wales. (Co-supervised with Graeme Shannon)

Mark Mosbery. Experimental assessment of the ecological processes determining the potential for climbing plants to improve biodiversity and ecosystem function in the urban landscape (co-supervised with Emma Sayer, Lancaster University)

Recently completed PhDs

Relena Ribbons. Seeing the forest for the trees: Tree species effects on soil microbial communities and nutrient cycling dynamics. (co-supervised with Morag McDonald and Andy Smith, SENRGY; Lars Vesterdal, Copenhagen University; and Cindy Prescott, University of British Columbia)

Syed Rahman. Incorporation of trees in smallholder land use system: Farm characteristics, rates of return and policy issues influencing farmer adoption. (co-supervised with Jette Bredahl Jacobsen and Jens Friis Lund, University of Copenhagen; and Terry Sunderland, CIFOR)

Lucia Morales Barquero. Beyond carbon accounting: A landscape perspective on measuring and monitoring tropical forest degradation. (co-supervised with Christoph Kleinn, University of Göttingen; Margaret Skutsch, National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Fausto Bolom-Ton. Factors affecting variation in forest community characteristics and leaf-litter decomposition in tropical montane forest of Chiapas, Mexico: a functional ecology approach. (co-supervised with Bryan Finnegan, CATIE)

Géraldine Derroire. Secondary succession in tropical dry forests: Drivers and mechanisms of forest regeneration (co-supervised with Per Christer Oden and Mulualem Tigabu, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)

Fritz Kleinschroth. Roads in the rainforests: Legacy of selective logging in Central Africa. Evaluating the temporal and spatial dynamics of logging road networks. (Co-supervised with Sylvie Gourlet-Fleury and Plinio Sist, CIRAD, Montpellier).

Desalegn Desissa. Fragmentated forests in south-western Ethiopia: implications of land-use change on plant species composition and priorities for future conservation.

Jimena Esquivel Sheik. Plant traits and litter decomposition of tree species naturally regenerating in Central American pasturelands. (Co-supervised with Bryan Finegan, CATIE)

Martin Noponen. Carbon and economic performance of coffee agroforestry systems in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. (Co-supervised with the late Gareth Edwards-Jones; and Jeremy Haggar and Gabriela Soto, CATIE)

Deirdre Ninaber. Improved control of Rhododendron ponticum for environmental management. (Co-supervised with Robert Brook)

Sue Hearn. Perspectives in vegetation monitoring: an evaluation of approaches currently used in the UK. (Co-supervised with Morag McDonald)

Myers Paul. Composting of woodchip- and straw-based livestock bedding. (co-supervised with Davey Jones)


Modelling economic impact and strategies to increase resilience against tree disease outbreaks.
ForestModelling aims to build a series of models to study the ways in which different management options can reduce risks and expected damages from a range of forest diseases. It is a project of the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative.

Cefn Conwy

The CEFN Conwy project is designed to enhance the technical knowledge and environmental management skills of farmers in rural Conwy

Invasive Woody Plants in the Tropics
The Invasive Woody Plants in the Tropics research group, based at the University of Wales, Bangor, UK, has undertaken two major field studies in Jamaica and Tanzania, together with a global review of invasions resulting in a comprehensive database, an analysis of common characteristics and recommendations for management and control.  

Building Nicaraguan and Costa Rican capacity in biodiversity conservation
The homepage of the Darwin Initiative project 'Building Nicaraguan and Costa Rican capacity in biodiversity conservation'.  

TWIRLS: Treating Waste for Restoring Land Sustainability
A European Commission LIFE-Environment project targeting the restoration of degraded land using locally sourced waste materials.

Envision: Developing next generation leaders in environmental science
A NERC Doctoral Training Partnership between Lancaster, Bangor and Nottingham Universities, Rothamsted Research, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, and British Geological Survey.

Recent Publications


Derroire, G., Powers, J.S., Hulshof, C.M., Cárdenas Varela, L.E. & Healey, J.R. (2018). Contrasting patterns of variation among and within species in leaf functional traits during tropical dry forest succession in Costa Rica. Scientific Reports 8, Article number 285.

Bellingham, P.J., Tanner, E.V.J., Martin, P.H., Healey, J.R. & Burge, O.R. (2018). Endemic trees in a tropical biodiversity hotspot imperilled by an invasive tree. Biological Conservation 217, 47-53.


Rahman, S.A., Sunderland, T., Roshetko, J.M. & Healey, J.R. (2017). Facilitating smallholder tree farming in fragmented tropical landscapes: Challenges and potentials for sustainable land management. Journal of Environmental Management 198, 110-121.

Kleinschroth, F. & Healey, J.R. (2017). Impacts of logging roads on tropical forests. Biotropica, 49, 620-635.

Kleinschroth, F., Healey, J.R. Gourlet-Fleury, S., Mortier, F. & Stoica, R.S. (2017). Effects of logging on roadless space in intact forest landscapes of the Congo Basin. Conservation Biology 31, 469-480.

Macpherson, M.F., Kleczkowski, A., Healey, J.R., Quine, C. & Hanley, N. (2017). The effects of invasive pests and diseases on strategies for forest diversification. Ecological Modelling 350, 87-99.

Rahman, S.A., Jacobsen, J.B., Healey, J.R., Roshetko, J.M. & Sunderland, T. (2017). Finding alternatives to swidden agriculture: does agroforestry improve livelihood options and reduce pressure on existing forest? Agroforestry Systems 91, 185-199.

Macpherson, M.F., Kleczkowski, A., Healey, J.R. & Hanley, N. (2017). Payment for multiple forest benefits alters the effect of tree disease on optimal forest rotation length. Ecological Economics 134, 82-94.

Sheremet, O., Healey, J.R., Quine, C. & Hanley, N. (2017). Public preferences and willingness to pay for forest disease control in the UK. Journal of Agricultural Economics 68, 781-800.


Macpherson, M.F., Kleczkowski, A., Healey, J.R. & Hanley, N. (2016). The effects of disease on optimal forest rotation: a generalisable analytical framework. Environmental and Resource Economics (published on-line).

O’Leary, B.C., Kvist, K., Bayliss, H.R., Derroire, G., Healey, J.R., Hughes, K., Kleinschroth, F., Sciberras, M., Woodcock, P. & Pullin, A.S. (2016). The reliability of evidence reviews in environmental science and conservation. Environmental Science and Policy 64, 75-82.

Rahman, S., Sunderland, T., Kshatriya, M., Roshetko, J.M., Pagella, T. & Healey, J.R. (2016). Towards productive landscapes: Trade-offs in tree-cover and income across a matrix of smallholder agricultural land-use systems. Land Use Policy 58, 152-164.

Kleinschroth, F., Gourlet-Fleury, S., Gond, V., Sist, P. & Healey, J.R. (2016). Logging roads in tropical forests: Synthesis of literature written in French and English highlights environmental impact reduction through improved engineering.  Bois et Forêts des Tropiques 328 (2), 13-26.

Talboys, P.J., Heppell, J., Daniel, J., Roose, T., Healey, J.R., Jones, D.L. & Withers, P.J.A. (2016). Struvite: a slow-release P fertiliser for sustainable intensification? Plant and Soil 401, 109-123; DOI:10.1007/s11104-015-2747-3.

Derroire, G., Coe, R. & Healey, J.R. (2016). Isolated trees as nuclei of regeneration in tropical pastures: testing the importance of niche-based and landscape factors. Journal of Vegetation Science 27, 679-691.

Derroire, G., Balvanera, P., Castellanos-Castro, C., Decocq, G., Kennard, D., Lebrija-Trejos, E., Leiva, J., Oden, P.C., Powers, J., Rico-Gray, V., Tigabu, M. & Healey, J.R. (2016).  Resilience of tropical dry forests – a meta-analysis of changes in species diversity and composition during secondary succession. Oikos, 125, 1386-1397.

Rahman, S.A., Sunderland, T., Roshetko, J.M., Basuki, I. & Healey, J.R. (2016). Tree culture of smallholder farmers practicing agroforestry in Gunung Salak Valley, West Java, Indonesia. Small-scale Forestry: 15, 433–442.

Aerts, R., Van Overtveld, K., Wassie, A., Abiyu, A., Demissew, S., Daye, D.D., Giday, K., Haile, M., TewoldeBerhan, S., Teketay, D., Teklehaimanot, Z., Binggeli, P., Deckers, S., Friis, I., Gratzer, G., Hermy, M., Sterck, F.J., Muys, B., Bongers, F. & Healey, J.R. (2016). Conservation of the Ethiopian church forests: threats, opportunities and implications for their management. Science of the Total Environment 551-552, 404-414. (

Derroire, G., Tigabu, M., Odén, P.C. & Healey, J.R. (2016). Effects of established trees on woody regeneration during secondary succession in tropical dry forests. Biotropica 48, 290-300.

Kleinschroth, F., Healey, J.R., Sist, P., Mortier, F. & Gourlet-Fleury, S. (2016). How persistent are the impacts of logging roads on Central African forest vegetation? Journal of Applied Ecology 53, 1127-1137

Kleinschroth, F., Healey, J.R. & Gourlet-Fleury, S. (2016). Sparing forests in Central Africa: re-use old logging roads to avoid creating new ones. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 14: 9-10.


Morales-Barquero, L., Borrego, A., Skutsch, M., Kleinn, C. & Healey, J.R. (2015). Identification and quantification of drivers of forest degradation in tropical dry forests: a case study in Western Mexico. Land Use Policy 49, 296-309 (

Poorter, L…, Healey, J.R.….. (65 co-authors) (2015). Diversity enhances carbon storage in tropical forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 24, 1314-1328. (

Petrokofsky, G., Sist, P., Blanc, L., Doucet, J.-L., Finegan, B., Gourlet-Fleury, S., Healey, J.R., Livoreil, B., Nasi, R., Peña-Claros, M., Putz, F.E. & Zhou, W. (2015). Comparative effectiveness of silvicultural interventions for increasing timber production and sustaining conservation values in natural tropical production Forests. A systematic review protocol. Environmental Evidence 4: 8,  doi:10.1186/s13750-015-0034-7.

Kleinschroth, F. , Gourlet-Fleury, S., Sist, P., Mortier, F. & Healey, J.R. (2015). Legacy of logging roads in the Congo Basin: how persistent are the scars in forest cover? Ecosphere 6(4): 64. (

Daye, D.D. & Healey, J.R. (2015).  Impacts of land-use change on sacred forests at the landscape scale. Global Ecology and Conservation 3, 349-358 (

Styles, D., Gibbons, J., Williams, A.P., Stichnothe, H., Chadwick, D.R. & Healey, J.R. (2015). Cattle feed or bioenergy? Consequential life cycle assessment of biogas feedstock options on dairy farms. Global Change Biology Bioenergy 7, 1034-1049 (DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12189).


Talboys, P.J., Healey, J.R., Withers, P.J.A. & Jones, D.L. (2014). Phosphate depletion modulates auxin transport in Triticum aestivum leading to altered root branching. Journal of Experimental Botany 65: 5023-5032 (

Morales-Barquero, L., Skutsch, M., Jardel-Peláez, E.J., Ghilardi, A., Kleinn, C. & Healey, J.R. (2014). Operationalizing the definition of forest degradation for REDD+, with application to Mexico. Forests 2014, 5: 1653-1681 (

Withers, P.J.A., Sylvester-Bradley, R., Jones, D.L., Healey, J.R. & Talboys, P.J. (2014). Feed the crop not the soil: rethinking phosphorus management in the food chain. Environmental Science & Technology 48, 6523-6530. (

Tanner, E.V.J., Rodriguez-Sanchez, F., Healey, J.R., Holdaway, R.J. & Bellingham, P.J. (2014). Long-term hurricane damage effects on tropical forest tree growth and mortality. Ecology 95: 2974-2983 (

Haddaway, N.R., Burden, A., Evans, C.D., Healey, J.R., Jones, D.L., Dalrymple, S.E. & Pullin, A.S. (2014). Evaluating effects of land management on greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon balances in boreo-temperate lowland peatland systems. Environmental Evidence 2014, 3:5 (doi:10.1186/2047-2382-3-5; (

Gibbons, J.M., Williamson, J.C., Williams, A.P., Withers, P.J.A., Hockley, N., Harris, I.M., Hughes, J.W., Taylor, R.L., Jones, D.L. & Healey, J.R. (2014). Sustainable nutrient management at field, farm and regional level: soil testing, nutrient budgets and the trade-off between lime application and greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 188: 48-56.

Talboys, P.J., Owen, D.W., Healey, J.R., Withers, P.J.A. & Jones, D.L. (2014). Auxin secretion by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens FZB42 both stimulates root exudation and limits phosphorus uptake in Triticum aestivium. BMC Plant Biology 14:51 (


Pullin, A.S., Bangpan, M., Dalrymple, S., Dickson, K., Haddaway, N.R., Healey, J.R., Hauari, H., Hockley, N., Jones, J.P.G., Knight, T., Vigurs, C. & Oliver, S. (2013). Human well-being impacts of terrestrial protected areas. Environmental Evidence 2: 19. (

Noponen, M.R.A., Haggar, J.P., Edwards-Jones, G., Healey, J.R. (2013). Intensification of coffee systems can increase the effectiveness of REDD mechanisms. Agricultural Systems 119: 1-9 (

Noponen, M.R.A., Healey, J.R., Soto, G. & Haggar, J.P. (2013). Sink or source – the potential of coffee agroforestry systems to sequester atmospheric CO2 into soil organic carbon. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 175: 60-68 (

Smith, A.R., Lukac, M., Hood, R., Healey, J.R., Miglietta, F. & Godbold, D.L. (2013). Elevated CO2 enrichment induces a differential biomass response in a mixed species temperate forest plantation. New Phytologist 198: 156-168.

DeLuca, T.H., Zewdie, S.A., Zackrisson, O., Healey, J.R. & Jones, D.L.
(2013). Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum L. Kuhn) promotes an open nitrogen cycle in heathland soils. Plant and Soil 367: 521-534

Rendón Thompson, O.R., Paavola, J., Healey, J.R., Jones, J.P.G, Baker, T.R. & Torres, J. (2013). Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+): transaction costs of six Peruvian projects. Ecology and Society, 18(1), 17 (


Bowler, D.E., Buyung-Ali, L.M., Healey, J.R., Jones, J.P.G., Knight, T.M. and Pullin, A.S. (2012) Does community forest management provide global environmental benefit and improve local welfare? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 29-36.


Chai, S.-L., Healey, J.R. & Tanner, E.V.J. (2012). Evaluation of forest recovery over time and space using permanent plots monitored over 30 years in a Jamaican montane rain forest. PLOS ONE 7 (11): e48859. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048859.

Desissa, D. & Helaey, J.R. (2012). Sacred groves in the Gamo Highlands of southern Ethiopia: biocultural values and threats. Langscape 2 (11): 44-47.

Noponen, M.R.A., Edwards-Jones, G., Haggar, J.P., Soto, G., Attarzadeh, N. & Healey, J.R. (2012). Greenhouse gas emissions in coffee grown with differing input levels under conventional and organic management. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 151: 6-15.


Dalling, J.W., Barkan, P., Bellingham, P.J., Healey, J.R. & Tanner, E.V.J. (2011). Ecology and distribution of neotropical Podocarpaceae. In Smithsonian Contributions to Botany, No. 95: Ecology of the Podocarpaceae in Tropical Forests (ed. by B.L. Turner & L.A. Cernusak), pp. 43-56. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

Farrell, M., Healey, J.R., Godbold, D.L., Nason, M.A., Tandy, S. and Jones, D.L. (2011) Modification of fertility of soil materials for restoration of acid grassland habitat. Restoration Ecology 19: 509-519.

Healey, J.R., Tandy, S., Wallace, H.L., Williamson, J.C., Nason, M.A. and Jones, D.L. (2011) Importance of researching the mechanisms underpinning the restoration of whole ecosystem diversity. Biological Conservation 144: 1300-1301.

Hearn, S.M., Healey, J.R., McDonald, M.A., Turner, A.J., Wong, J.L.G. and Stewart, G.B. (2011) The repeatability of vegetation classification and mapping. Journal of Environmental Management 92: 1174-1184.

Tandy, S., Wallace, H.L., Jones, D.L., Nason, M.A., Williamson, J.C. and Healey, J.R. (2011) Can a mesotrophic grassland community be restored on a post-industrial sandy site with compost made from waste materials? Biological Conservation 144: 500-510.

Vincent, G., Azhima, F., Joshi, L. & Healey, J.R. (2011). Are permanent rubber agroforests an alternative to rotational rubber cultivation? An aqroecological perspective. Forests, Trees and Livelihoods 20: 85-109.

Williamson, J.C., Rowe, E.C., Hill, P.W., Nason, M.A., Jones, D.L. and Healey, J.R. (2011) Alleviation of both water and nutrient limitations is necessary to accelerate ecological restoration of waste rock tips. Restoration Ecology 19: 194-204.



Baker, T.R., Jones, J.P.G., Rendón Thompson, O.R., Román Cuesta, R.M., del Castillo, D., Aguilar, I.C., Torres, J. and Healey, J.R. (2010) How can ecologists help realise the potential of payments for carbon in tropical forest countries? Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 1159-1165.

Bowler, D.E., Buyung-Ali, L.M., Healey, J.R., Jones, J.P.G., Knight, T. and Pullin, A.S. (2010) The evidence base for community forest management as a mechanism for supplying global environmental benefits and improving local welfare. Environmental Evidence

Bussell, J., Jones, D.L., Healey, J.R. and Pullin, A.S. (2010) How do draining and re-wetting affect carbon stores and greenhouse gas fluxes in peat soils? Environmental Evidence

Jones, D.L. and Healey, J.R. (2010) Use of organic amendments for remediation: turning waste to good use. Elements 6: 369-374.

Millett, J. and Healey, J.R. (2010) Woodland restoration on mineral extraction waste tips: a comparison of tree performance over eight years. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 104: 19-27.

Obiri, J.A.F., Hall, J.B. and Healey, J.R. (2010) Composition, structure and regeneration of miombo forest at Kitulangalo, Tanzania. In Bongers, F. and Tennigkeit, T. (eds.), Degraded forests in Eastern Africa. Earthscan, London, pp. 109-122.

Obiri, J.A.F., Hall, J.B. and Healey, J.R. (2010) Degradation, species invasion and management in Tanzanian dry forests: what do local people say? In Bongers, F. and Tennigkeit, T. (eds.), Degraded forests in Eastern Africa. Earthscan, London, pp. 305-321.

Tandy, S., Healey, J.R., Nason, M.A., Williamson, J.C., Jones, D.L. and Thain, S.C. (2010) FT-IR as an alternative method for measuring chemical properties during composting. Bioresource Technology 101: 5431-5436.



Easdale, T.A. and Healey, J.R. (2009) Resource-use-related traits correlate with population turnover rates, but not stem diameter growth rates, in 29 subtropical montane tree species. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 203-218.

Rendón Thompson, O.R., Baker, T.R., Healey, J.R., del Castillo, D., Jones, J.P.G. and Román Cuesta, R.M. (2009) Criterios e Indicadores Para Proyectos REDD, Proyecto ‘Fortalecimiento de Capacidadades para Pagos por Servicios Ambientales (Carbon y Biodiversidad) en la Amazonia Peruana. Universidad de Leeds, p. 40.

Tandy, S., Healey, J.R., Nason, M., Williamson, J.C. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Remediation of metal polluted mine soil with compost: Co-composting versus incorporation. Environmental Pollution 157: 690-697.

Tandy, S., Healey, J.R., Nason, M.A., Williamson, J.C. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Heavy metal fractionation during the co-composting of biosolids, deinking paper fibre and green waste. Bioresource Technology 100: 4220-4226.

Walmsley, J. and Healey, J.R. (2009) Alternatives to landfill for fly ash from wood combustion and ash from paper sludge.  A report for EON Engineering UK Ltd. School of the Environment and Natural Resources, Bangor University, p. 42.

Walmsley, J.D., Jones, D.L., Reynolds, B., Price, M.H. and Healey, J.R. (2009) Whole tree harvesting can reduce second rotation forest productivity. Forest Ecology and Management 257: 1104-1111.

Williamson, J.C., Akinola, M., Nason, M.A., Tandy, S., Healey, J.R. and Jones, D.L. (2009) Contaminated land clean-up using composted wastes and impacts of VOCs on land. Waste Management 29: 1772-1778.



Bussell, J.A., Jones, D., Healey, J. and Pullin, A.S. (2008) How do draining and re-wetting affect carbon stores and greenhouse gas fluxes in peat soils? Moors for the Future Annual Meeting: Living Upland Landscapes, Loosehill Hall, Peak District.

Jones, D.L., Hughes, L.T., Murphy, D.V. and Healey, J.R. (2008) Dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen dynamics in temperate coniferous forest plantations. European Journal of Soil Science 59: 1038-1048.

Tandy, S., Williamson, J.C., Nason, M.A., Healey, J.R. and Jones, D.L. (2008) Deinking paper fibre application to agricultural land: soil quality enhancer or copper polluter? Soil Use and Management 24: 217-220.

van der Heijden, G.M.F., Healey, J.R. and Phillips, O.L. (2008) Infestation of trees by lianas in a tropical forest in Amazonian Peru. Journal of Vegetation Science 19: 747-756.



Easdale, T.A., Gurvich, D.E., Sersic, S.N. and Healey, J.R. (2007) Tree morphology in seasonally dry montane forest in Argentina: relationships with shade tolerance and nutrient shortage. Journal of Vegetation Science 18: 313-326.

Easdale, T.A., Healey, J.R., Grau, H.R. and Malizia, A. (2007) Tree life histories in a montane subtropical forest: species differ independently by shade-tolerance, turnover rate and substrate preference. Journal of Ecology 95: 1234-1249.

Gibbons, J.M., Crout, N.M.J. and Healey, J.R. (2007) What role should null-hypothesis significance tests have in statistical education and hypothesis falsification? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 22: 445-446.

Hockley, N.J., Edwards-Jones, G. and Healey, J.R. (2007) Maximizing the efficiency of conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 22: 286-287.

Nason, M., Williamson, J., Tandy, S., Christou, M., Jones, D. and Healey, J. (2007) Using organic wastes and composts to remediate and restore land: best practice manual. School of the Environment and Natural Resources, Bangor University