Lead researchers and project managers:
Ed Turner, University of Cambridge
Ed coordinates data collection and management of the BEFTA Project. He is a conservation scientist, who researches management strategies that can be employed to conserve species diversity and healthy ecosystem functioning. Over the last 10 years he has worked in the UK and SE Asia on a variety of ecological studies, particularly the SAFE Project, a fragmentation experiment in Malaysia.
Jake L Snaddon, University of Southampton
Jake coordinates soil-environment research for the BEFTA Project. His research investigates the links between biodiversity and ecosystem functions in tropical landscapes. He has worked extensively in Southeast Asia on projects, including experimentS investigating links between decomposition and invertebrate communities and the role of epiphytes and canopy fungi in forest nutrient cycling.
Jean-Pierre Caliman, Smart Research Institute
Jean-Pierre is the lead researcher of the SmartRI team involved in the BEFTA project. His research interest is mainly in agronomy with a special focus on soil fertility and oil palm mineral nutrition. His career has focused on research about oil palm cultivation in Africa and South East Asia, where he is now leading the multidisciplinary R&D program of SmartRI (Golden Agri Resources).
Amy Eycott, University of Cambridge
Amy was the NERC El Niño Research Associate in the Cambridge group from 2017 to 2018 and is now Associate Professor of Terrestrial Ecology at Nord University in Norway. Her research interests are biodiversity dynamics and ecological function. Amy continues to work on datasets related to vegetation management and climate in the BEFTA vegetation management experiment plots.
Anak Agung Ketut Aryawan, Smart Research Institute
Agung contributes to the BEFTA project through research on rodents, small-mammal carnivores, birds, and aquatic invertebrates. His interest is research about predator of rats. He has joined SmartRI Crop Protection Department in December 2012.
Andreas Dwi Advento, Smart Research Institute
Advento is a member of the SmartRI Crop Protection Departement, His career in SmartRI started since 2009, with a background is biology and an interest in insects. He is now in charge of a research program related to the control of insect damages in oil palm plantation, and the collection and analyze of the insect community and herbivory data.
Eleanor Slade, Nanyang Technological University
Eleanor is a researcher at Nanyang Technological University. Her research interests are in the ecology and conservation of tropical and temperate forest and agro-ecosystems, and the impact of human activities on the diversity and functioning of these ecosystems. She has worked on a range of taxa from dung beetles, moths and woodlice to hornbills and small mammals in both tropical (Malaysia, Philippines, Belize) and temperate (UK, Finland) environments. Her current research aims to quantify the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in modified landscapes. In particular she is exploring the relationship between dung beetle diversity and ecosystem functioning in agricultural landscapes.
Mohammad Naim, Smart Research Institute
Naim studies the dynamics of small carnivores and rats population using camera traps, Capture-Mark-Recapture, and line-transect methods. His expertise is in small mammals, small mammal pests in oil palm plantations and their natural enemies and control.
Sarah Luke, University of Cambridge
Sarah’s recent research has focussed on stream macroinvertebrate assemblages in tropical forest and oil palm ecosystems in Sabah. She is interested in the effects of habitat change on biodiversity, and development of possible strategies for conservation.
Candra Kurniawan, Smart Research Institute
Candra is a Geographic Information System (GIS) specialist, contributing satellite imagery analysis, and site selection in BEFTA project. He was involved in forestry and watershed projects with Indonesia Ministry of Forestry and BAKOSURTANAL (now BIG; Badan Informasi Geospasial). He used to lecture for the Technical Course among Developing Countries (TCDC).
Darren Mann, University of Oxford.
Darren is the Head of Life Collections at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where he manages the University’s vertebrate and invertebrate collection of over 7 million specimens. His research interests are in the taxonomy and ecology of dung beetles, specialising in the Asian – Oriental faunas.
Dedi Purnomo, Smart Research Institute
Dedi Purnomo is in charge on the evaluation of the flora diversity within the BEFTA plots. His interest is in ecological functions of biodiversity in oil palm plantation. His background is in ecology in forestry.
Holly Barclay, Monash University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
Holly is an aquatic ecologist who studies the ecology and conservation of freshwater invertebrates in SE Asia. Her current research focuses on the impacts of oil palm management on water quality and freshwater invertebrate communities in Malaysia and Indonesia.
Julia Drewer, CEH.
Julia is a biogeochemist and coordinates the research on greenhouse gas fluxes within the BEFTA programme. This includes ecosystem respiration (carbon dioxide), nitrous oxide and methane. She is investigating how different management options impact the magnitude of the measured fluxes to provide evidence for modified agricultural practices that have the potential to reduce emissions.
Pujianto, Smart Research Institute
Pujianto is in charge of monitoring the impact of BEFTA various treatment on the mineral nutrition of the palms. His interest is in agronomy with specialization on soil management in relation with nutrient bioavailability for oil palm. He has spent his whole career in research about oil palm cultivation in Smart Research Institute.
Rudi Harto Widodo, Smart Research Institute
Rudi is the coordinator of all operational activities in relation with the management of the palms: maintenance of the BEFTA plots, harvesting and recording of the performance of the palms, relation with estate management.
Sudharto Ps, Smart Research Institute
Sudharto Ps is the head of the SmartRI Crop Protection Department and leads the crop protection researchers involved in the BEFTA project. He also participates in the projects regarding pest control and other entomology topics. His interest is in integrated pest management of oil palm. He had worked 23 years at the Indonesian Oil Palm Research Institute (IOPRI), joining SmartRI in 2005.
Suhardi, Smart Research Institute
Suhardi is in charge in soil fertility studies. His interest is in the relation between soil characteristics (physical, chemical, and biological) and plant growth. He spent 14 years as a lecturer in Bengkulu University teaching about soil science before joining SmartRI in 2007.
T. Dzulfikar S. Rambe, Smart Research Institute
Dzulfikar is in charge of the management of the diverse ground vegetation cover levels in BEFTA plots. His expertise is in weed control in oil palm plantation.
William Foster, University of Cambridge
William was the lead researcher on the BEFTA Project until his retirement in 2016. His research interests have ranged from the evolution of eusociality in insects to the role of epiphytic ferns in supporting rainforest diversity. His recent career has focussed on establishing an evidence base for more biofriendly oil palm cultivation. He retains an interest in the BEFTA Project and in the study of social behaviour in solitary wasps.
Current graduate students:
Amelia Hood, University of Cambridge.
Amelia (Millie) investigated the role of ants and termites in the plantations for her PhD thesis. As part of this, she ran ant exclusion experiments in the BEFTA vegetation plots and replanted sites.
Julie Hinsch, University of Cambridge.
Beneficial plants. Julie’s project investigates the value of introduced plants (Turnera ulmifolia and Antigonon leptopus) in attracting beneficial insects within plantations.
Kirsty Matthews Nicholass, University of Essex.
Kirsty’s research within the BEFTA programme takes a metagenomic approach focusing on identifying the soil microbial community within the Understory Vegetation Project and comparing the functional differences between these communities.
Michael Pashkevich, University of Cambridge.
Michael is studying invertebrate responses to oil palm replanting and how riparian buffers affect invertebrate communities. He is part of the RERTA Project.
Previous graduate students:
Adham Ashton-Butt, University of Southampton.
Rapid assessment of biodiversity and biogeochemical processing across tropical landscape gradients
Christopher Woodham, University of Oxford.
Ecosystem functioning in riparian buffers as part of the RERTA Project.
Dakota Marie Spear, University of Cambridge
Dakota studied the impact of understory management strategies in oil palm plantations in Sumatra, Indonesia on spider diversity and predation.
David Kurz, University of Cambridge
Frog communities and food web analysis. Dave studied the resilience of food webs throughout the oil palm life-cycle. In particular, his project focused on how the ecosystem functions of frogs recover after oil palm is re-planted.
Hsiao-Hang Tao, University of Oxford.
Soil management practices. Hsiao-Hang’s research interest lies at soil ecology and ecosystem services, her project looked at the soil management practices such as EFB application.
Martina Harianja, University of Cambridge.
Martina studied the impact of local and landscape-scale management within oil palm plantations on pollinating insects. Her study used the BEFTA Understory Vegetation Project and the rAGE Project plots.
Max Brown, University of Oxford
Dung beetles diversity and function
Christian Smith, University of Oxford. (Masters Student)
Nutrients and freshwater macrophytes (completed 2013)