|The ICFR is very happy to announce
that Dr Andrew Morris has joined us from 1 July 2013 as our new Research
Manager. Andrew brings to the ICFR a wealth of experience in research
management and knowledge of the industry from his previous position as Sappi's
General Manager Research.
Andrew has both BSc(Hons) Soil Science
and PhD degrees from University of Reading.
Prior to joining the ICFR, Andrew spent 16 years with Sappi Forests
(1997-2013) as the General Manager Research, and before this he worked for the
Usutu Pulp Company in Swaziland (1979-1997), first as Research Officer and then
Forest Research Manager.
Andrew feels that there are three
things excite him about his new role at the ICFR;
move from general management to research management will allow me to focus more
on applied science where my interest and, I think, value is best realised;
opportunity to work with the dedicated, enthusiastic and professional staff at
industry is undergoing many major changes and the challenges these present to
forestry research are an exciting opportunity."
Dr. Andrew Morris
Andrew what he thought the biggest challenges are facing the ICFR.
plantations support an important part of the economy in southern Africa
a key livelihood for many families.
Broader participation in this section of the economy will increase the
importance of forestry in southern Africa, especially as a component of
rural development. Whilst internationally the supply of wood
from sustainable plantations is an increasingly important resource, the
industry faces challenges to remain globally competitive. In response
to this there is rapid modernisation
of timber production practices in the industry. There is also a need to
emerging new timber growers are as well equipped with the best current
knowledge as existing growers. Global
climate change and the continued arrival of new pests and diseases
more change in forestry practice if we are to remain sustainable. So
the challenge facing the ICFR is to
support the large but necessary changes in forestry practice with
relevant recommendations that will allow the sector to continue to
founded on a wood supply that is sustainable well into the future. For
me this challenge is an exciting
opportunity for good and applied forest science to add value to
believes the ICFR is poised to deliver important and highly relevant knowledge
into a fast changing industry, and at the same time, serve a wider scope of
‘customers'. In the short term, existing
good research must deliver value adding recommendations, and in the longer term,
new research must begin that will continue to add value to our stakeholders.
Working in a research
environment presents a range of challenges and opportunities. We asked Andrew
what were his recommendations or advice to anyone working in this field.
"If research is your passion and your
field of science is relevant (and this is almost anything!) then forestry
offers the chance to work in an outdoor ‘laboratory' (at least some of the
time) and opportunity to travel to some exotic destination - and so may well
provide an ideal career. Embarking on such
a career my advice would be to collaborate where ever possible. Seek advice and direction from experts and
combine your work with that of peers to produce the best and most useful
research. My own career has been
punctuated with many such interactions and these have produced the most satisfying
results and good friendships along the way."
actively pursuing ways to shape and develop the research at the ICFR, Andrew, once
a keen footballer and squash player, enjoys a more spectator interest in sport,
which consumes much of his free time He finds music and books a good way to
relax in between West Ham fixtures (which are not always a good way to relax),
and enjoys travelling (almost as much as
his wife Belcy).
Andrew can be
contacted at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org