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.

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.

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 Shannon (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.

Dr. Pimonrat Tiansawat (Acharn Som-O) - Director of Tree Production

Pimonrat joined Biology Department, Chiang Mai University as a lecturer/researcher in ecology in August 2013. She received her doctoral degree in Plant Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interest includes various aspects of seed ecology of forest tree species such as seed predation, seed persistence in the soil and seed germination. In association with Forest Restoration Research Unit, she started her research on seed predation and tree seedling performance in forest restored areas of Mon Cham, Chiang Mai.

Ms. Rattanamon Aisao (Som) - Education Officer

Som graduated B.Sc  in Ecology from Chiang Mai University. After graduation, she worked as an education leader of science camp at Sakearat Environmental Research Station, Nakhon Ratchasima, from 2013 to 2016. Som joined FORRU-CMU's in 2016 as an Education Officer. Her main responsibilities are preparing the "Forests on Blackboards" project sponsored by Keidanren Nature Conservation Foundation and planning, organizing and implementing FORRU’s education activities.


Mr. Apivit Chansai (Pai) - Education Officer
Pai graduated from the Department of Geography with a B.Sc from Chiang Mai University and joined FORRU as an Education Officer. He had experience as a volunteer teaching international schools about mulching mats and also took responsibility on transferring seedlings in the Forest Restoration Research Unit. His primary responsibilities include developing the "Forests on Blackboards" project sponsored by Keidanren Nature Conservation Foundation and becoming an instructor to train students on forest restoration concepts with planning in school activities.


Ms. Benjapan Manohan (Ben) - Junior Field Officer
Ben partly joined with FORRU as a volunteer while she was studying as a B.Sc. of Ecology, Biology CMU. She graduated with her B.Sc. thesis on "Seed Germination Treatment of Some Rare Species of Doi Suthep-Pui".  After graduation, she worked as an assistant manager and photographer at Wildlife Friend Foundation Thailand. She joined FORRU team in July, 2016 as a field officer, and is sponsered 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.

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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 produces 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?