Sophie Hale, BSc, PhD

Research Scientist

Sophie Hale


Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5900
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5942
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 5124

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Sophie Hale joined Forest Research in 1997, after obtaining a degree in Geography and a PhD in forest micrometeorology from the University of Edinburgh.  Her research links silvilculture with the development of modelling tools to aid forest management, focusing on growth and stability of irregular forest stands.

Current role

Research Scientist

Sophie works on two main projects, both incorporating alternative silvicultural systems into modelling tools to help forest managers.  The first project involves expanding the existing ForestGALES model, which predicts risk of wind damage in coniferous monocultures, to include several broadleaf species and risk to individual trees in irregular stands.  The second project is the development of a single-tree growth model (MOSES_GB) for the simulation of non-uniform forest stands, such as those that will result from the increased application of continuous cover silviculture.  Prior to this, Sophie worked on measuring and modelling understorey light regime, linking stand-level parameters to light levels and seedling growth.  This work will help to inform regeneration dynamics within MOSES_GB.

Current projects

Wind risk

  • Incorporation of broadleaf species into ForestGALES
  • Development and testing of wind risk model for individual trees in irregular stands

Modelling mixed-age and mixed-species stands

  • Specification of requirements for model input data, user interface and user documentation
  • collation and data-cleaning of existing experimental data
  • model testing

Main recent publications and knowledge exchange activities

Peer reviewed journal articles

Kerr G, Snellgrove M, Hale S, Stokes V. (2017) The Bradford-Hutt system for transforming young even-aged stands to continuous cover management. Forestry, in press.

Hale, S.E., Gardiner, B., Peace, A., Nicoll, B., Taylor, P., Pizzirani, S. (2015).  Comparison and validation of three versions of a forest wind risk model.  Environmental Modelling and Software 68, 27-41,

Arcangeli, C., Klopf, M., Hale, S.E., Jenkins, T.A.R., Hasenauer, H. (2014). The uniform height curve method for height-diameter modelling: an application to Sitka spruce in Britain. Forestry, 87, 177-186,

Hale, S.E., Gardiner, B.A., Wellpott, A., Nicoll, B.C. (2012) Wind loading of trees: influence of tree size and competition.  Eur J For Res 131, 203-217 doi:10.1007/s10342-010-0448-2.

Mason, B., Edwards, C., and Hale, S.E. (2011) Continuous Cover Forestry in larch plantations: a case study in central Scotland. Scottish Forestry, 65 (3), 14-22.

Comeau, P.G., White, M., Kerr, G. and Hale, S.E. (2010)  Maximum density-size relationships for Sitka spruce and coastal Douglas-fir in Britain and Canada.  Forestry 83, 461-468,

Contract and project reports – (excluding any which are commercially confidential)

Gardiner, B., Aleksandrov, N., Blennow, B., Bouriaud, O., Bouriaud, L., Didion, M., Dragoi, M., Duduman, M., Gracia, C., Ramón González, J., Hale, S., Hanewinkel, M., Kellomaki, S., Kostov, G., Maroschek, M., Palahí, M., Peltola, H., Rafailova, E., Schelhaas, M.-J., and Tomé, M. (2011)  Report On Abiotic and Biotic Risks : Case Study Areas.  Contract report for MOTIVE project.

Trade journal and newsletter articles

Hale, S., Nicoll, B. and Martin, S. (2015).  Improvements to ForestGALES: the forest wind risk tool.  Forestry and Timber News, 71, 26-27.

Scientific conferences: presentations or posters

Bianci, S., Hale, S., Arcangeli, C., Cahalan, C., Henshall, P., Kerr, G. and Jenkins, T. (2015)  Preliminary Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) early growth model for MOSES_GB.  Poster presentation at IUFRO 2015 Ecology, sivilculture and management of spruce species in mixed forests, August 11-13, 2015, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Hale, S., Gardiner, B., Peace, A. and Nicoll, B. (2014)  A New Methodology for Wind Risk Modelling.  IUFRO Wind and Trees International Conference, 3-8 August 2014, 2014, São Pedro, Brazil.

Kamimura, K., Gardiner, B., Hale, S. (2013) Spatial interactions and comparisons of wind damage risk in European planted forests.  “Forest Sector Modelling – new approaches and findings for improved resource decisions in a globalized world”, Lillehammer, Norway, 15-18 October 2013.

Hale, S.E., Gardiner, B., Nicoll, B., Taylor, P., Pizzirani, S., Bathgate, S. (2013)  A New Methodology for Wind Risk Modelling in Forest Plantations.  3rd International Congress on Planted Forests: Vulnerability and Risk Management in Planted Forests, Bordeaux, France, 16-18 May 2013.

Kamimura, K., Gardiner, B., Hale, S., Mitsuda, Y., Koga, S., Yoshida, S. (2013)  Stability of planted Japanese larch against strong wind with tree growth.  3rd International Congress on Planted Forests: Vulnerability and Risk Management in Planted Forests, Bordeaux, France, 16-18 May 2013.

Hale, S.E., Arcangeli, C., Jenkins, T., Klopf, M., Thurnher, C., Hubert Hasenauer, H. (2012) MosesGB: a growth simulator for mixed age and mixed species forest stands in Britain  Poster presentation at IUFRO conference "Managing forests for ecosystem services - can spruce forests show the way?", Edinburgh, 8th to 11th October 2012.

Comeau, P.G., Kerr, G., Hale, S.E. and Pommerening, A. (2010)  Effects of levels of overstory retention on understory light and implications for regeneration in Britain and western Canada.  7th IUFRO International Conference on Uneven-aged Silviculture. Ljubljana, Slovenia, 23-30 September 2010.

Other meetings e.g. contributions to training events, outreach days, trade shows, forest healthdays, Parliamentary committees

Victoria Stokes, Bill Mason and Sophie Hale (2015).  Managing forest structure to promote natural regeneration.  ICF England / Confor meeting, Dalby, October 2015.

Software and associated manuals

Nicoll, B.C., Hale, S.E., Gardiner, B.A., Peace, A. and Rayner, B. (2015). ForestGALES  – A wind risk decision support tool for forest management in Britain.  version 2.5 User manual. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.