For four weeks over April/May we will be travelling to the remote mountains of Taiwan to document one epic tree. We are so very lucky to have, quite literally, Taiwans best researchers and climbers inviting us to work on this, let's meet them!
Rebecca Hsu -
Rebecca is from Tropical Forest Research Institute (TFRI) and the coordinator of Taiwan tree project. She started study on vascular epiphytes in 1996. An El Niño event (1997 to 1998) had intrigued her about climate change impacts on epiphytes that are considered more sensitive to atmospheric change than soil-based plants. This idea was then transformed to a doctoral dissertation and published in 2012. During the field investigation, she was fascinated by cloud forests for their astonishing biodiversity. She then organized a canopy research group to explore ancient trees in primary cloud forests, including Taiwania since the species is especially unique both locally and globally.
Yung-Hsiang "Sky" Lan -
Sky is a PhD candidate in Oregon State University working on old-growth canopy ecology in Oregon, USA. She began climbing trees and tree canopy research in 2005 and continues "because of the mystery and diversity of old-growth trees". Before her PhD study in the US in 2014, she worked for 10 years studying 500+ years old Chamaecyparis taiwanensis, our target tree species for this project. Now she studies the relationships between canopy structure, microclimate and Swiss Needle Cast disease severity among different ages of Douglas-fir forests for her dissertation from 2014.
Herbert Hsu -
He is a skilled climber with over 10 years of rope rescue practice, saying his is possibly the worlds biggest understatement. Hebert is Taiwans best climber taking out the team and individual championship of the 2017 Ch'iao Airas Rescue Competition in Taiwan. He is dedicated to refining tree climbing techniques and related training in Taiwan. First aid certification, Taiwan Red Cross.