Hans ter Steege

Hans ter Steege, Honorary professor of Tropical Forest Diversity and Tree Traits


I am keenly interested in the study of plant diversity and mechanisms generating and regulating diversity at regional and local scale with a focus on the Amazon Rainforest. I have built up large network of collaborating colleagues in the Amazon and outside: The Amazon Tree Diversity Network. With this network we study patterns and processes of species composition, relative abundance patterns, and functional behaviour of the Amazon forest, and its evolution.

I lived and worked ten years in Guyana where I managed the Tropenbos Guyana Programme, responsible for programme development and monitoring, financial management, scientific backstopping, and translation and dissemination of scientific results into recommendations for policy and forest management. After returning to the Netherlands, I worked at the Utrecht University, as a consultant, at the International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, and finally at Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

I was lucky that computers arrived at the Universities when I was a student in Biology and was an early adopter of computer technology including relational databases, Pascal programming & modelling, Matlab, R, GIS, spatial statistics.

Selected Publications

ter Steege, H. et al. (2017). Estimating species richness in hyper-diverse large tree communities. Ecology 98: 1444-1454. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.1813

Levis C. et al. (2017). Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition. Science 355: 925-931 DOI: 10.1126/science.aal0157

ter Steege, H. et al. (2016). The discovery of the Amazonian tree flora with an updated checklist of all known tree taxa. Scientific Reports 6:29549. DOI: 10.1038/srep29549

ter Steege, H. et al. (2015) Estimating the global conservation status of over 15,000 Amazonian tree species. Science Advances 1: e1500936. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500936

ter Steege H. et al.  (2013). Hyperdominance in the Amazonian Tree Flora. Science 342, 1243092. DOI: 10.1126/science.1243092

Link to full publication list in PURE