Biostatistics, simulation modelling, survey design, information systems







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Biodata - Denis Alder

Denis Alder was born in England and attended Tonbridge School, Kent, before moving to Australia in 1967. He gained a 1st class Honours degree in Forest Science from the Australian National University, Canberra in 1973. From 1974 he worked at the University of Oxford doing research on growth models of forest ecosystems, for which he was awarded a D.Phil. in 1978. From 1979 to 1983 he worked in various capacities for FAO, writing manuals on statistical methods and growth modelling in Rome and Oxford, and undertaking biometrics and field survey work in Ghana.

From mid-1983 to 1989 he worked as a technical specialist on statistical techniques, survey work and monitoring and evaluation for the World Bank on projects in Turkey and Ghana. From 1989 he became a freelance consultant working on short-term assignments with several international organizations (see Clients). This work was primarily concentrated on statistical design, analysis of survey data, particularly for long-term ecosystem monitoring, modelling ecosystem dynamics, biomass and other allometric equations, carbon sequestration modelling, and systems for regulation and monitoring renewable natural resource management.

These assignments have involved work on the ground in a number of countries, including Australia, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania and Uganda.

From 2004 to 2017 he consulted for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, developing survey designs for capture of data on prices, yields, crop areas, developing and maintaining a website ( for data entry by field contractors, growers and purchasers, which also provides live statistics on crop yields, areas, and prices.

During the period 2010-2016 he continued to do international consulting, in particular in Guyana, in Brazil with EMBRAPA Amazonia Oriental, and with the Federal University of Acre, developing systems and teaching courses for forest ecostystem management, surveys and predictive modelling. He worked for the European Space Agency (ESA), and Ajiko in Japan on QGIS/Python plugin-in tools for land use change. He worked in Malawei for several months with LTS International on REDD+ activities. He also developed a family of models of carbon dynamics in plantation ecosystems for VCS investment analysis.

During 2017-2020 he has worked with Valid International and Mokoro Ltd on survey design and analysis relative to monitoring and evaluation of WFP school feeding programs in Ethiopia. He has also undertaken forest modelling work for Pinus caribaea in Uganda for Global Woods AG, updating earlier work from 2003. He has assisted Form Ghana to improve their growth models for Teak, and worked with the Global Canopy Foundation to develop databases and systems relative to their Forest 500 supply chains assessments. Recently, he has consulted for FAO once again, to update the MYRLIN model and integrate it within the OpenForis framework. Since January 2020 he has been working with the Zulu Group on modelling of carbon offset projects, with the Ministry of Forests REDD+ group in Fiji reviewing inventory and permanent plot data, and with ARC on carbon modelling for the Udzungwa Corridor project.

Updated: 04 Aug 2020