Gary Kerr, BSc, PhD, FICFor, CEnv

Science Group Leader: Forest ManagementGary Kerr next to a large Sorbus aucuparia L. in a woodland in the Chilterns


Twitter: @Forestry_OUP

Tel: +44 (0)300 067 5600
Tel direct: +44 (0)300 067 5665
Fax: +44 (0)1420 23653

Forest Research
Alice Holt Lodge
Surrey GU10 4LH

Gary graduated from the University of Wales, Bangor in 1985 with a BSc (Hons) in Forestry. Later in 1985 he was employed by the Forestry Commission and worked as a forest manager in the Forest of Dean. In 1988 Gary moved to Forest Research at Alice Holt to become Head of Mensuration Branch. In 1990 he changed roles to become a silviculturist. In 2002 Gary was awarded his PhD from the University of Wales: his Thesis was ‘ Factors affecting the growth and form of Fraxinus excelsior L.’. Since 2003 Gary has been Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: An international journal of forest research.  In 2010 he became the Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 1.05.00 on Uneven-aged silviculture. He was also a Visiting Professor at the Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia between 2012 and 2015. At present, Gary is a member of the Executive Board and Workpackage Leader of the EU FP7 project SIMWOOD (Sustainable Innovative Mobilisation of Wood).

Current role

Gary’s work focusses on establishing the scientific basis and knowledge transfer required for the increased use of continuous cover silviculture in the United Kingdom.  However, a genuine interest and passion for silviculture means that he is also involved in other projects including: seed origins of emerging species, management of native broadleaved woodland, upland silviculture as well as responsibilities for co-ordination of the Science Group.

Current programmes

Continuous cover silviculture
Project Manager

Affiliations and achievements

  • Visiting Professor, Department of Forestry and Renewable Forest Resources, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Fellow of Institute of Chartered Foresters
  • Editor-in-Chief of Forestry: an international journal of forest research
  • Coordinator of IUFRO Research Group 1.05.00 on Uneven-aged silviculture
  • President’s Award from the Institute of Chartered Foresters for meritorious service in 2009
  • Chartered Environmentalist
  • 1993 James Cup for best article in Quarterly Journal of Forestry
  • 1996 Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship to Northeast USA
  • James Cup runner-up in 1997, 2000 and 2009

Main publications and knowledge exchange activities

Peer reviewed journal articles

Kerr, G., Snellgrove, M., Hale, S. and Stokes, V. (2017) The Bradford-Hutt system for transforming young even-aged stands to continuous cover management. Forestry, (doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpx009)

Harmer, R., Kerr, G., Stokes, V. and Connolly, T. (2017) The influence of thinning intensity and bramble control on ground flora development in a mixed broadleaved woodland. Forestry, (doi:10.1093/forestry/cpw048)

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A., Fletcher, A., Samuel, S., Mackintosh, H. and Mason, W.L. (2016) No seed zone effects on the survival, growth, and stem form of Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) in BritainCanadian Journal of Forest Research, 46:427-436

Kerr, G., Webber, J., Mason, W., Jinks, R. and Jennings, T. (2015) Building resilience in to planted forests: recent experience from Great Britain. Paper presented to the XIV World Forestry Congress, Durban, South Africa, 7-11 September 2015.

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2015) Comparing the Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry for Sitka Spruce in Great Britain. Forests 2015, 6, 2424-2449

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A. and Jinks, R. (2015) Effects of provenance on the survival, growth and stem form of European silver fir (Abies alba Mill.) in Britain.  European Journal of Forest Research, 134(2):349-363

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2015) International guidance on initial stocking densities for conifers: is there any evidence to alter practice in Britain? Scottish Forestry: 69(1):8-17.

Kerr, G. (2014) The first field experiment in the world to use a randomised experimental design: history, results and interpretation. Forest Science, 60(6):1194-1204  doi:10.5849/forsci/13-166

Mitchell, R.J., Beaton, J.K., Bellamy, P.E., Broome, A. , Chetcuti J., Eaton, S., Ellis, C.J., Gimona A., Harmer, R., Hester, A.J., Hewison, R.L., Hodgetts, N.G., Iason, G.R., Kerr, G., Littlewood N.A., Newey, S., Potts, J.M., Pozsgai, G., Ray, D., Sim, D.A., Stockan, J.A., Taylor, A.F.S., Woodward, S. (2014) Ash dieback in the UK: A review of the ecological and conservation implications and potential management options. Biological Conservation,175:95–109.

Kerr, G. (2014) The management of silver fir forests: de Liocourt (1898) revisited. Forestry; 87(1):29-38.

Brang, P., Spathelf, P. , Bo Larsen, J. , Bauhus, J., Boncina, A., Chauvin, C., Drössler, L., García-Güemes, C., Heiri, C., Kerr, G., Lexer, M.J., Mason, B., Mohren, F., Mühlethaler, U., Nocentini, S. and Svoboda. M. (2014) Suitability of close-to-nature silviculture for adapting temperate European forests to climate change. Forestry, doi:10.1093/forestry/cpu018

Mackintosh, H., Kerr, G. and Connolly, T. (2013) Structural change during transformation in the Glentress Trial – an update. Scottish Forestry, 67(3):14-23

Stokes, V. and Kerr, G. (2013). Long-term growth and yield effects of respacing natural regeneration of Sitka spruce in Britain. European Journal of Forest Research, 132 (2), 351-362.  (DOI) 10.1007/s10342-012-0679-5.

Kerr, G. and Stewart, G. (2013) The native forests of New Zealand: time to review timber production and sustainable management.  Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 107(2):138-143.

Harmer, R. and Kerr, G. (2013) Using canopy cover to control vegetation in continuous cover forestry. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 107(2):113-121.

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A. and Wylder, B. (2012) Natural regeneration of conifers: a method to help forest managers predict the likelihood of success. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 106(1):23-30.

Kerr, G. and Mackintosh, H. (2012). Long-Term Survival of Saplings during the Transformation to Continuous Cover. Forests, 3: 787-798. {**This paper won the Scottish Forestry Trust Dr. Cyril Hart Memorial Award for 2012**}

Diaci, J, Kerr, G. and O’Hara, K (2011). Twenty-first century forestry: integrating ecologically based, uneven-aged silviculture with increased demands on forests.  Forestry, 84(5):463-465.

Kerr, G., Stokes, V., Peace, A. and Wylder, B. (2011). Prediction of conifer natural regeneration in a ‘data-poor’ environment. Scottish Forestry, 65(3):28-36.

Kerr, G. and Evans, J. (2011). Eucalypts for Short Rotation Forestry: a case study from the 1980s. Quarterly Journal of Forestry. 105(2): 109-117.

Kerr, G, Morgan, G., Blyth, J. and Stokes, V. (2010). Transformation from even-aged plantations to an irregular forest: the world's longest running trial area at Glentress, Scotland.  Forestry, 83: 329-344.

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.

Forestry Commission/Forest Research publications


Stokes, V., Forster, J. and Kerr, G. (2017)  A comparison of Sitka x white spruce hybrids with QCI Sitka spruce. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Kerr, G. and Haufe, J. (2016) Successful underplanting. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LH.

Kerr, G., Forster, J. and Jinks, R. (2016) Summary of FR Seed Origin Trials on Low’s Fir [Abies concolor var. lowiana (Gord.) Lemm.]. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Jinks, R. and Kerr, G. (2016) Summary of FR Seed Origin Trials on Cryptomeria japonica and Sequoia sempervirens. Forest Research, Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.


Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2011). Costs and Revenues of Transformation to Continuous Cover Forestry (PDF-568K).  Report to the Forestry Commission by Forest Research.  Alice Holt Lodge, Farnham, Surrey, England.

Kerr, G. and Haufe, J. (2011). Thinning Practice: A Silvicultural Guide. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Kerr, G. (2011). A review of the growth, yield and biomass distribution of species planted in the English network trials of short rotation forestry.  In, Forest Research Monograph 2 (McKay, H.M. ed.) Short rotation forestry: review of growth and environmental impacts (PDF-3255K). Forest Research, Farnham, Surrey. 212pp.

Harmer, R., Kerr, G. and Thompson, R. (2010). Managing Native Broadleaved Woodland.  Forestry Commission Handbook The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.

Knowledge exchange


Guldin, J. and Kerr, G. 2014 Future Concepts in Uneven-Aged Silviculture for a Changing World. IUFRO News, volume 43, issue 9/2014

Davies, O. and Kerr, G. (2011). CCF is ‘economically viable option’.  Forestry and Timber News, August 2011, p19.