Thomas Paul


  • Phone: +64 7 343 5653
  • Email: Show email
  • Team: Ecology and Environment
  • Role: Scientist, Forest Ecology and Management


Dr Thomas Paul is a forest ecologist with broad research interests in estimating forest carbon stocks and their change in natural and planted forests, forest inventory designs and their implementation for environmental services and the establishment of trees that are native (forest restoration) and exotic (tree invasions). One of Thomas’s current roles is to lead Scion’s research under the MBIE-funded Winning against wildings programme, a collaborative research programme between Landcare Research, Scion, University of Canterbury and Bioprotection, Lincoln. Beside that he is also responsible for the development and analysis of New Zealand’s Carbon Forest Inventory for the Ministry for the Environment (LUCAS) and the inventories quality assurance.


  • PhD (Forestry Science), Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Germany - 2003
  • Masters (Forestry Science), Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Germany - 1998

Research capabilities

  • Estimation of Forest Carbon Stocks and Change
  • Tree invasions and establishment
  • Multisource Forest inventories and Sampling Designs
  • Plant diversity in Forests
  • LiDAR (Light detection and Ranging)

Career highlights

  • Scion lead for the collaborative Research Programme “Winning against wildings” (MBIE contract C09X1611) – 2016 - ongoing
  • Project leader for the underpinning research programme “LUCAS method development and research” – 2015 - ongoing
  • Invited lead author on the “2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories” – ongoing
  • Invited speaker at the Southern Congress 2016 in Punta Arenas, Chile (Wilding conifer management in New Zealand)

Selected papers

Paul, T. S. H., Kimberley, M. O. & Beets, P. N. Thinking outside the square (online) – Evidence that plot shape and layout in forest inventories can bias estimates of stand metrics. Methods in Ecology and Evolution (available online).

Dash, J., Pearse, G., Watt, M. & Paul, T. (2017) Combining Airborne Laser Scanning and Aerial Imagery Enhances Echo Classification for Invasive Conifer Detection. Remote Sensing 9(2): 156.

Nuñez, M. A., Chiuffo, M. C., Torres, A., Paul, T., Dimarco, R. D., Raal, P., Policelli, N., Moyano, J., García, R. A., van Wilgen, B. W., Pauchard, A. & Richardson, D. M. (2017) Ecology and management of invasive Pinaceae around the world: progress and challenges. Biological Invasions 19(11): 3099-3120.

Herries, D. L., Paul, T. S. H., Beets, P. N., Chikono, C., Thompson, R. & Searles, N. (2017) Land Use and Carbon Analysis System - Planted Forest Data Collection Manual Version 6.2. Ministry for the Environment.

Norman W. H. Mason, David J. Palmer, Varvara Vetrova, Lars Brabyn, Thomas Paul, Peter Willemse & Peltzer, D. A. (2016) Accentuating the positive while eliminating the negative of alien tree invasions: a multiple ecosystem services approach to prioritising control efforts. Biological Invasions: 1-15.

Smaill, S., Bayne, K., Coker, G. R., Paul, T. H. & Clinton, P. (2014) The Right Tree for the Job? Perceptions of Species Suitability for the Provision of Ecosystem Services. Environmental Management 53(4): 783-799.

Beets, P., Kimberley, M., Paul, T., Oliver, G., Pearce, S. & Buswell, J. (2014) The Inventory of Carbon Stocks in New Zealand’s Post-1989 Natural Forest for Reporting under the Kyoto Protocol. Forests 5(9): 2230-2252.

Stephens, P. R., Kimberley, M. O., Beets, P. N., Paul, T. S. H., Searles, N., Bell, A., Brack, C. & Broadley, J. (2012) Airborne scanning LiDAR in a double sampling forest carbon inventory. Remote Sensing of Environment 117(0): 348-357.

Beets, P. N., Brandon, A. M., Goulding, C. J., Kimberley, M. O., Paul, T. S. H. & Searles, N. (2012) The national inventory of carbon stock in New Zealand’s pre-1990 planted forest using a LiDAR incomplete-transect approach. Forest Ecology and Management 280(0): 187-197.

Beets, P. N., Brandon, A. M., Goulding, C. J., Kimberley, M. O., Paul, T. S. H. & Searles, N. (2011) The inventory of carbon stock in New Zealand's post-1989 planted forest for reporting under the Kyoto protocol. Forest Ecology and Management 262(6): 1119-1130.

Brockerhoff, E. G., Shaw, W. B., Hock, B., Kimberley, M., Paul, T., Quinn, J. & Pawson, S. (2008) Re-examination of recent loss of indigenous cover in New Zealand and the relative contributions of different land uses. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 32(1): 115-126.

Ledgard, N. J. & Paul, T. S. H. (2008) Vegetation successions over 30 years of high country grassland invasion by Pinus contorta. New Zealand Plant Protection 61: 98-104.