Jennifer Mark: Evaluating extinction risk of the world’s timber tree species

Researcher: Jennifer Mark

Following a Masters in Conservation Science, Jennifer has contributed to research projects in Indonesia, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the UK, working with teams from Operation Wallacea, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens and the Institute of      Zoology. She is now working on her PhD project ‘Evaluating extinction risk of the world’s timber tree species’ in collaboration with Botanic Gardens Conservation International and supervised by BU’s School of Applied Science’s Conservation Ecology academics Professor Adrian Newton (BU), Dr Elena Cantarello (BU) and Sara Oldfield (Botanical Gardens Conservation International).

About the research:

The global timber trade contributes nearly $500 billion to the world’s economy per annum, yet the majority of the benefits we gain from these native tree species are overlooked and unprotected by current policy.

Jennifer’s research aims to address this knowledge gap by comprehensively assessing the risk to the world’s timber trees, exploring the ecosystem services they provide, and evaluating the likely negative impacts to human    well-being which would result from their extinction.

The species assessments, carried out using the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, will be used to produce a new biodiversity indicator in the form of the first Red List Index for timber trees.  The Index will allow changes in timber tree species extinction risk to be monitored over time, providing a valuable tool for conservation practitioners and policy-makers.