Photo of Tom Brandeis

Tom Brandeis

Supervisory Research Forester
4700 Old Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919
Phone: 865-862-2000
Fax: 865-862-0262

Current Research

  • Coordinate the remeasurement of long-term forest monitoring plots in the El Yunque National Forest with the International Institute of Tropical Forestry.
  • Describe tropical forest structure, stand dynamics, species composition, tree growth, mortality and removals using data collected during present and previous forest inventories for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Remeasurement and trend assessment in urban forest structure and dynamics in the San Juan Bay Estuary watershed, in collaboration with Dr. Wayne Zipperer, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station's Centers for Urban and Interface Forestry, and Drs. Francisco Escobedo and Christina Lynn Staudhammer, University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
  • Recent international cooperation includes:
    • Preparing and editing forest status reports for the UN FAO's 2005, 2010 and 2015 Global Forest Resource Assessments
    • Serving as a SilvaCarbon forest inventory and monitoring expert in Viet Nam, particularly in organizing technical transfer activities
    • Hosting forest inventory study tours in the U.S. for groups from South and Central America
    • Leading a team that created a forest inventory data analysis short course that has been taught in Honduras and Viet Nam
    • Additional forest inventory consulting and technical exchange activities in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala and India

Past Research

  • Assessed changes in the forest landscape, focusing on land cover mapping, forest recovery, loss, and fragmentation in highly disturbed landscapes, in collaboration with Dr. Eileen Helmer, USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry and Todd Kennaway, Colorado State University Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.
  • Described the climatic, geographic and topographic controls on secondary tropical forest tree community re-assembly after long-term, large-scale anthropomorphic disturbance, non-native species introduction, and landscape-scale forest fragmentation on Caribbean islands, in collaboration with Drs. Eileen Helmer and Ariel Lugo, USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry, and Dr. Humfredo Marcano, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station.Quantified wood volume, aboveground woody biomass and carbon stored in Caribbean island forests, developing necessary models and allometric equations from locally-collected data in collaboration with Prof. Skip Van Bloem, University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus.
  • Modeled tropical tree height and crown structure in urban and rural trees, as well as develop techniques for monitoring forest damage and recovery following hurricanes in the Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, in collaboration with Dr. KaDonna Randolph, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station and Michael Strub, Forest Biometrician, Weyerhaeuser Company.
  • Incorporated down woody debris, forest floor, and mineral soil carbon estimates into forest stand carbon estimates, in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Woodall, USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station.
  • Established relationships between forest structure, tree species composition, and Neotropical migratory birds' habitat preferences and make management recommendations to the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, in collaboration with Sonja Oswalt, USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, Dr. Scott Robinson, University of Florida Natural History Museum, and Dr. David Steadman, University of Florida Natural History Museum.


Ph.D. in Forest Science, 1999
Oregon State University
M.S. in Forestry, 1988
University of Illinois
B.S. in Biology, 1985
University of Notre Dame

Professional Organizations

  • Society of American Foresters (SAF), Member (1996—Current)

Featured Publications and Products


Research Highlights

Forest Inventory and Analysis is Coming to a City Near You (2016)
NRS-2016-138 In collaboration with state and local partners, the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program (FIA) has begun monitoring the urban forest resource with special focus on the nation’s largest cities. FIA recently completed its first urban inventory report that describes the urban forests of Austin, Texas.

Nationally consistent approach to forest inventory across the United States (2010)
SRS-2010-017 The passage of the 1998 Farm Bill led to the development of a nationally consistent approach to forest inventory across the United States.These documents (and the data that support these reports) are used by the State forestry agencies to understand the issues that are impacting the condition of the forests in their States.

Scientists Quantify the Value of Ecosystem Services Provided by the San Juan Bay Estuary (2014)
SRS-2014-169 A decade long study of the urban forests and land uses within the watershed of Puerto Rico's San Juan Bay Estuary quantified the value of ecosystems services provided by the watershed's urban forests. These services include carbon sequestration, preservation of biodiversity, lowering of energy costs needed to cool buildings, and the avoidance of carbon emissions.