ARC Centre for Forest Value Newsletter, November 2019


The ARC Centre for Forest Value held its annual Showcase Dinner on Wednesday the 11th of September at the University Staff Club in Sandy Bay. The evening event highlighted the latest research from PhD Candidates and Postdoctoral Research Fellows.

MC for the evening was Dr Andrew Jacobs, Chief Technical Officer at Forico and Chair of the Centre for Forest Value Joint Advisory Committee. Dr Jacobs told guests, “The industry needs targeted research to drive the innovations of tomorrow”.

Dr Andrew Jacobs
Students bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm to our business and whilst doing so receive the training they require to investigate research opportunities once they complete their studies, which is why we are supporters of this Centre. Dr Andrew Jacobs

Deputy Director of the Centre, Dr Julianne Wapstra-O’Reilly said, “The skills set for employees in this sector is changing as forests are becoming more digital, as we embrace the 4th industrial revolution and as climate challenges the security of our future forests resource".

"It is imperative that we continue to train industry ready graduates in the suite of new, innovative skills required and that we continue to build research capacity in the sector,” she said.

The Showcase Dinner was well attended by Centre staff.

The dinner was also attended by the State Minister for Resources, Guy Barnett, the Executive Director of Engineering and Information Sciences for the Australian Research Council, Dr Robert Mun, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of Tasmania, Professor Anthony Koutoulis, and Executive Dean of the College of Sciences and Engineering, Professor Brian Yates. Board members, Senior Executives and Managers representing a number of industry organisations and Centre partners also attended.



L-R: Professor Brad Potts and Dr Rebecca Jones measuring E. morrisbyi; Dr Mohammad Sadegh Taskhiri and PhD Candidate Henry Nickolas planting E. viminalis.

The historic property of Marchwiel at Marion Bay in Tasmania’s southeast was the site of a mass restoration planting in September involving a large number of staff from the Centre. The planting is part of two research trials which will not only help increase biodiversity at the property but guide climate-resilient restoration plantings and inform conservation strategies into the future. The trials involve two species - Eucalyptus morrisbyi and Eucalyptus viminalis - both under threat at their existing distribution locations.

Watch Dr Tanya Bailey and Dr Rebecca Jones describe the research trials in the video below.



Centre for Forest Value Associate, Dr. Sue Baker, has been awarded a 2019 Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council. ARC Future Fellows are selected as outstanding mid-career researchers who will undertake high quality research in areas of national and international benefit over the next four years. Sue will receive $775,000 in award funding from the ARC and additional funding and support from UTAS.

During the fellowship, Sue aims to resolve a long-standing debate about whether ‘land sparing’ or ‘land sharing’ is the better strategy for reconciling the need for timber production and forest biodiversity conservation.

Dr Sue Baker has been awarded a 2019 Future Fellowship.

"PhD students and I will collaborate with the Tasmanian timber industry to conduct a landscape-scale study to extend the land sparing vs land sharing paradigm over from agriculture to forestry," said Sue.

"We will survey plants and animals along a disturbance gradient, from unlogged forests through managed native and plantation forests," she said.

The study will be relevant to land-use decisions including resolving future land-use of Future Potential Production Forests.



The Centre was well represented at the 25th World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations held in Brazil from 29 September to 5 October.

The Congress was a packed program of presentations and field trips over seven days, attended by 3000 delegates, including four of our PhD Candidates - Rose Brinkhoff, Nicolo Camarretta, Michelle Balasso and Zara Marais - who all presented papers.

Clockwise from top left: Rose Brinkhoff; Michelle Balasso; Nicolo Camarretta; Zara Marais (L).

Zara Marais spoke in the sub-plenary session on ‘Agroforestry for Ecosystem Services’, sharing the podium with Susan Stein, Director of the USDA National Agroforestry Centre and Julian Chara from CIPAV in Colombia.

"It was great to receive feedback from experts in the field, and to make connections with people who have similar research interests," said Zara.

Zara's abstract submission is available here: Natural capital accounting: a useful framework for valuing agroforestry plantings?

Nicolo Camarretta's abstract submissioncan be viewed here: Stability of species and provenance performance following translocation into diverse restoration communities.

Rose Brinkhoff's abstract presentation can be viewed here: The determinants of optimal leaf area in eucalypt plantations.

Michelle Balasso's conference extract is available here: Use of Non-Destructive Techniques to optimise the production of structural products from plantation Eucalyptus forests grown for fibre.

Post-Congress Amazon Tour

The students also joined the post-congress tour of the Amazon biome. Highlights included visits to a Brazil nut farm that aims to restore previously-cleared areas through establishment of Brazil nut plantations; forest ecology research sites run by INPA (National Institute of Amazonian Research); and a sustainable forestry operation called Precious Woods Amazonas which manages more than 500,000 hectares of Amazon rainforest for selective harvesting of high value timber.



Wood research on the move: Michelle Balasso in Slovenia.

Prior to attending the Congress in Brazil, Michelle Balasso embarked on a Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) with the Society for Wood Science and Technology. In September, Michelle spent two weeks in Slovenia hosted by the InnoRenew CoE, a centre for timber-related research. She was interviewed about the experience, and you can view the video below.

Michelle then attended the 21st International Non-destructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium. She presented the paper Evaluation of non-destructive techniques and visual assessments of grade fibre-grown Eucalyptus logs for structural products. It was also an opportunity for Michelle to hear about the latest research in the area of NDT testing and wood quality.



The breadth and depth of the research undertaken by our PhD Candidates and Postdoctoral Research Fellows is being recognised through the publication of a large number of journal and conference papers.

Zara Marais had her first paper published from her PhD research in 'Forests: November 2019' and the paper titled A Natural Capital Approach to Agroforestry Decision-Making at the Farm Scale was chosen for the front cover of the journal.

Nicolo Camarretta recently published a paper from his PhD research on advances in remote sensing technologies and their potential applications to monitor forest restoration, focusing on structural complexity as a key concept for measuring restoration success. Monitoring forest structure to guide adaptive management of forest restoration: a review of remote sensing approaches was published in the October edition of 'New Forests'.

Congratulations are also due to Nicolo who delivered his final PhD seminar to the school of Natural Sciences on Friday the 15th of November, as required by his PhD candidature. He's pictured here with Centre Director Professor Mark Hunt.

Mihai Neagoe has had three conference papers published in the past two months. At the Advances in Production Manufacturing Systems (APMS) Conference held in Austin, Texas in September, two papers Mihai co-authored were presented Understanding the Impact of User Behaviours and Scheduling Parameters on the Effectiveness of a Terminal Appointment System Using Discrete Event Simulation and Collaborative Exchange of Cargo Truck Loads: Approaches to Reducing Empty Trucks in Logistics Chains.

In October, Mihai attended the European Simulation Modelling (ESM) Conference held at the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain, where he presented 'Using discrete-event simulation to explore the Impact of user behaviours on the effectiveness of a Terminal Appointment System'.

The paper on cargo truck loads stemmed from an ongoing collaboration the Centre has with Aalborg University in Denmark. Mihai said, "The project investigates ways of reducing empty truck trips to improve the efficiency and the environmental footprint of truck logistics and the trade-offs between optimised planning and human decision-making".

Dr Nathan Kotlarewski and PhD Candidate Mohammad Derikvand were co-authors of a paper published in 'Forests: September 2019'. Machinability Study of Australia’s Dominate Plantation Timber Resources reports on their study which tested the machinability of three major timber species grown in Tasmania under different resource management schemes: plantation fibre-managed hardwood (Eucalyptus globulus Labill. and Eucalyptus nitens Maiden) and plantation sawlog-managed softwood (Pinus radiata D. Don).



Dr Nathan Kotlarewski is Chief Investigator of the project “Developing a New Generation of Tasmanian Appearance Hardwood Products for In-State Design and Manufacturing” supported by the Launceston Centre of the National Institute for Forest Products Innovation (NIFPI) and Neville Smith Forest Products.

The research team led by Nathan has successfully developed a program script that identifies natural timber features in Eucalyptus nitens panels from a photograph. The photograph is then used to develop a digital tool path for a computer numerically controlled router, to machine acoustic panels. The panels will be used as a cassette system to absorb sound in open offices.

"This new product and manufacturing process has the potential to utilise low-value fibre-grown plantation timber in high-value architectural environments," said Nathan.

Dr Kotlarewski with the acoustic panel

The Centre is also farewelling Nathan, who has accepted a new job at CLTP Tasmania in Wynyard. He will be working in the wood and wood product industry, manufacturing solid timber buildings and structures for international and domestic markets.


The ARC Training Centre for Forest Value (CFV) produces industry-ready graduates and postdoctoral fellows with broad perspectives of the forest industry.

The CFV is funded by the Australian Research Council and industry partners.



Created By
Linda Hunt