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Emeritus Professor Tim Bayliss-Smith

Emeritus Professor Tim Bayliss-Smith

Professor of Pacific Geography

Office Phone: (01223 3) 38715

Departments and Institutes


Research Interests

My career has been focused on land management in the humid tropics in relation to agricultural intensification (or its absence), with questions of land use sustainability always implicit. I have published on the phosphorus cycle in Costa Rican agroforestry, atoll geomorphology in relation to storminess and sea-level rise, secondary forest use in Malaysia, and the historical geography of northern Sweden, but my main geographical focus of interest has always been Melanesia which is where I carried out my Ph.D research (energy use on Ontong Java atoll, Solomon Islands, 1974). I moved from human ecology issues in Solomon Islands (1970s) to population and development in Fiji (1980s) and the ecology of prehistoric wetland management  in the highlands of New Guinea (1990s-2017). I am currently researching issues of population change before and during colonialism in Solomon Islands, and the ecology and prehistory of irrigated terraces in the New Georgia group, western Solomon Islands. I remain interested in rainforest disturbance, human populations on atolls, and the conservation of bird populations in Ontong Java atoll.

Other Professional Activities

I am a Trustee of the Inga Foundation, an NGO devoted to the promotion of sustainable alley cropping and other forms of agroforestry. The Inga Foundation is based in Honduras but its work also extends to other countries.

Key Publications

E. Hviding and T.P. Bayliss-Smith 2000. Islands of Rainforest: Agroforestry, Logging and Eco-Tourism in Solomon Islands. Ashgate, Aldershot. pp. 1-371.

T.P. Bayliss-Smith, E. Hviding and T.C. Whitmore 2003. ‘Rain forest composition and histories of human disturbance in Solomon Islands’. Ambio 32(5): 346-352.

T. Bayliss-Smith and A.E. Christensen 2008 ‘Birds and people on Ontong Java atoll, Solomon Islands, 1910-2008: continuity and change’. Atoll Research Bulletin 262: 1-36.

T. P. Bayliss-Smith, K. V. Gough, A.E. Christensen and S. Kristensen 2010. ‘Managing Ontong Java atoll: social institutions for production and governance of atoll resources in Solomon Islands’. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 31: 55-69.

T. Bayliss-Smith and E. Hviding 2015. ‘Landesque capital as an alternative to food storage in Melanesia: irrigated taro terraces in New Georgia, Solomon Islands’. Environmental Archaeology 20(4): 425-436.

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