Bob Shula



Bob specialises in developing individual-tree growth models to support improved decision-making in managed forests. The research efforts of the Forest Genetics team enable fuller understanding of forest genetics and tree improvement for key performance traits across a range of tree species. The team includes the Scion Nursery and a Tissue Culture lab that supports the development of propagation technology, as well as, helping save some of New Zealand's endangered indigenous trees and plants.


  • MSc (Forest Science),  Oregon State University -1998
  • BSc (Hons, Forest Management) Oregon State University -1976

Research capabilities

  • Individual-tree growth modelling for improved decision making in managed forests

Career highlights

  • 2013 - present: Team Manager, Forest Genetics, Scion
  • 2008 - 2013: Senior Scientist and Team Manager. Forest Management, Scion
  • 2004 - 2008: General Manager, Ensis Wood Quality, Scion
  • 2002 - 2007: Programme Manager, Wood-Fibre Growth and Quality: Tree-to Product, Scion
  • 2001 - 2004: Project Leader. Forest Growth and Quality, Forest Research
  • 1998 - 2004: Programme Manager. Stand Growth Modelling Cooperative. Forest Research
  • 1996 - 2001: Scientist, Individual-Tree Growth Modelling, Forest Research
  • 1990 - 1998: Faculty Research Associate, Tree-Level Growth Modelling, Oregon State University
  • 1981 - 1989: Scientist, Stand-Level Growth Modelling, New Zealand Forest Research Institute Ltd
  • 1976 - 1981 Research Assistant, Stand Growth and Yield, Weyerhaeuser Company, Washington

Selected papers

Dungey, H; Shula, B; Suontama, M; Li, Y; Low, C; Stovold, T. 2015. Quantitative genetics and developments in Scion’s tree breeding programmes. New Zealand Journal of Forestry Science 60:1.

West, GG; Moore, JR; Shula, RG; Harrington, JJ; Snook, J; Gordon, JA; Riordan, MP. 2012. Forest management DSS development in New Zealand. In Proceedings: “Implementation of DSS Tools into the Forestry Practice”. 1st International Scientific Conference. A joint event organized by the Technical University in Zvolen, Technical University of Lisbon, and COST FP 804 FORSYS. Sliac, Slovakia. May 10-13, 2012.

West, G.G, Shula B. 2009. Intensive forest systems – a new forest management research programme. NZ Journal of Forestry. Vol 53 (4).

Shula, B; Fritzsche, M; Kimberley, M. 2009. Comparison of Individual-Tree Growth Models. Future Forests Research Ltd. Report R040.

Hayes, J.D.; Shula, R.G. 2008: Trouble shooting for tree-level models. Stand Growth Modelling Cooperative Report No. 129.

Hayes, J.D; Blomqvist; Shula, R.G. 2007: Performance of Post-Silvicultural Individual-tree Growth Model (ITGM): Stand Growth Modelling Cooperative Report No. 143.

Knowe, S.A., Radosevich, S.R., Shula, R.G. 2005: Basal Area and Diameter Distribution Prediction Equations for Young Douglas-Fir Plantations with Hardwood Competition: Coast Ranges. Western Journal of Applied Forestry 20(2): 77-93.

Gordon, A; Shula, R.G. 2000: Validation of the individual-tree growth model (ITGM). Stand Growth Modelling Cooperative Report No. 79.

Shula, R.G. 1998. RVMM - The Regional Vegetation Management Model. Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. Website:

Shula, R.G. 1998. Database Development and Application to Characterise Juvenile Douglas-fir and Understorey Vegetation in the Oregon and Washington Coast Range Mountains. M.Sc. Department of Forest Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. 101p.

Shula, R.G. 1989. The Upper-Limits of Radiata Pine Stem-Volume Production in New Zealand. New Zealand Forestry 34(2): 19-22.

Shula, R.G. 1989. Double dealings: Wood for energy as well as fibre. New Zealand Forest Industries 20(11): 27-28.

Shula, R.G. 1989. Forestry's Contribution to Energy Self-Sufficiency in New Zealand Pulp and Paper Mills. New Zealand Forest Industries 20(9): 34-38.