Meet the FORRU Crew

Dr. Steve Elliott - Co-Founder and Reseach Director

Steve joined CMU Biology Department as a lecturer in tropical plant ecology and wildlfe conservation in 1986. He co-founded FORRU-CMU with Dr. Vilaiwan Anusarnsunthorn in 1994 and continues to co-ordinate the unit's research program and supervise research students. He is also repsonsible for the unit's general administration, fund-raising, reporting to donors and English publications.

[email protected]

Dr. Sutthathorn Chairuangsri (Acharn Gwang) - Education Director
Ach. Gwang teaches ecology at CMU Biology Department and is now the department's Vice Chairperson. She co-manages FORRU-CMU with Dr. Steve and is mainly responsible for co-ordinating the unit's education, training and outreach activities. Her research interests include mine rehabilitation and she supervises several of the unit's research students.

[email protected]

Assistant Prof. Dr. Prasit Wangpakapattawong, Ph.D. - Research Supervisor
Ach. Prasit is a lecturer in ecology and biodiversity at CMU Biology Department and also heads up the Thailand office of the International Centre for Research on Agroforestry. He has played major roles in several of FORRU-CMU's international research projects, including our work on Doi Mae Salong with FAO (on accelerated natural regeneration) and with  ICRAF ("Making the Mekong Connect Project"). His specialities include carbon accounting and fig tree ecology and he supervises several research students, working at FORRU-CMU's nurseries and field plots.

Dr. Panitnard Tunjai (Acharn Dia) - Director of Tree Production
Ach. Dia, studied direct seeding for her M.Sc. in FORRU's field trial plot system at Ban Mae Sa Mai and subsequently became FORRU's Field Officer. She went on to gain her Ph.D. at Walailuk University, by applying direct seeding techniques to restore southern lowland evergreen forests under a BRT scholarship. After receiving her doctorate, she returned to FORRU as Nursery Manager and in 2012 became a lecturer in ecology at CMU's Biology Department. She supervises several research students.
Mr Rattapol Ampol (Golf) - Education Officer
Golf, graduated from CMU in geology and gained experience as a school teacher before joining FORRU-CMU in 2012 as the unit's principle Education Officer. His primary responsibilities include planning and implementing education, training and outreach activities for both Thai and international groups. He is our main instructer at schools events and trains both teachers and professionals on forest restoration concepts, nursery practices, tree planting techniques, monitoring etc., fluently in both Thai and English. 

Ms Phuttida Nippanon (Duck) - Field Officer

Phutthida has been working with FORRU since April 2013, shortly after completing her B.Sc. thesis on “The Effects of Fire Control on Succession in a Deciduous Bamboo Forest”. At present, she is working part time as a Field Officer, whilst also studying for her M.Sc. degree in Environmental Science at Chiang Mai University. Her thesis topic is fire resilience of framework tree species. Her work is sponsored by Biotropica Australia.

Jatupoom Meesana (Boat) - Field Researcher

Boat, an M.Sc. graduate from the Biology Department, specializes in bird surveys, but also helps out with all kinds of other survey work in both restored and natural forest plots. Recently he has been involved in biomass and carbon assessments in ANR demo plots in Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia. His work is sponsored by Biotropica Australia.

Ms. Rungtiwa Bunyayod - FORRU Secretary

Rungtiwa takes care of the adminstration of the unit - communications, banking, financial accounts and arranging travel and other logistics for staff and for workshop participants.


FORRU-CMU currently runs 3 nurseries, 2 in the north of Thailand and one in the south. Each nursery is run by a team of 2 or 3 local community members and produces about 20,000 indigenous trees per year for various palnting projects.

Our Doi Suthep Nursery Team

Our Doi Suthep Nursery team produce about 20,000 trees/yr for FORRU's field experiments and other local tree planting projects. They also carry out research on phenology, seed germination and seedling growth, as well as assisting CMU students with research projects on all aspects of native forest tree propagation. Furthermore, 
they act and trainers and teachers during workshops and schools events.
Thonglao (left)  has remained with the unit, 
since its foundation in 1994. 
Somkit (right) joined the team in 2002 and Thongyod (far right) in 2007. He is currently working on the effects of effective micro-organisms (EM) on tree seedling growth.

Our Ban Mae Sa Nursery Team
Mr Chotgun and 
Mr Yong, local Mae Sa villagers and leading members of the community's environmental protection group, grow around 20,000 seedlings annually. Most of the trees are planted in the Mae Sa Valley area. Their salaries are sponsored by The Rajapruek Institute Foundation.

Our Krabi Nursery Team
Taweesak, Theerasak and Oot, all local Krabi villagers,  run their own FORRU, growing southern rain forest tree species to restore one of the last true rain forests in Thailand. They produce around 20,000 indigenous forest tree species per year, which are all planted locally, particularly to create habitat for the rich bird life in the area. They also carry out research on forest phenology, seed germination, seedling growth and manage several framework species demo plots and run education events for local school children. In the past, this team was sponsored by the UK's Darwin Initiative, OBC, RSPB and the Disney Foundation, but we are currently looking for a sponsor to support their valuable work .... anyone interested?
Research Students

Ms. Kanlayarat  Jantawong (Rat)

Rat is a Ph. D. student, at CMU, studying in the Environmental Science Program of CMU's Science Faculty. She is investigating the accumulation of above-ground carbon in restored forest in FORRU's field trial plot system at Ban Mae Sa Mai compared with non-planted control plots and a conventional mono-culture pine plantation. She measures above-ground biomass of the trees and understorey vegetaion and analyses wood samples for carbon content. Her goal is to determine the value of carbon credits that could be derived from forest restoration for international schemes such as REDD+, which would help to finance and secure forest restoration in the future.


Ms. Yingluck Ratanapongsai

Studying "Factors affecting the recruitment of tree species in restored tropical forest in northern Thailand" for her Ph.D. in FORRU-CMU's restoration plots at Ban Ma Sa Mai.

Ms. Hathai Sangsupan

Hathai is a Ph.D. student, studying Forest Ecology at Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon, USA). She is carrying out research in FORRU's field trial plot system at Ban Mae Sa Mai to discover what factors affect the recruitment of new tree species into upland seasonally dry forest plots, following planting of framework tree species. She monitors seed germination and seedling growth and survival and she is also conducting physiological experiments in a tropical greenhouse at Oregon State University. This work will enable improvements to be made to the framework species method, to accelerate biodiversity recovery in furture tree planting projects.