New Frontiers in Forecasting Forests 2018

Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS)

September 25, 2018 – September 28, 2018

If you're presenting at NFFF, please check out the guidelines and instructions here.  If you have any questions, email anyone on the Organising Committee.

For delegates who are in the process of making travel arrangements, you can get information about Stellenbosch accommodation & things to do, travel options and the conference venue here, or don't hesitate to contact one of the organising committee members if you've got any questions!

Also, please note that we are planning to offer a free airport-pickup service to delegates who arrive on SUNDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER and a limited airport drop-off in the afternoon after the conference on FRIDAY 28th SEPTEMBER!  To take advantage of these opportunities, please email your complete flight and contact details to Albe van Niekerk before the end of the day tomorrow, 18th September!!


With support from IUFRO Division 4 (Forest Assessment, Modelling and Management), particularly 4.01.00, 4.02.07, 4.03.00 & 4.04.02 and Division 5, particularly Working Group 5.01.04 (Wood Quality Modelling), the Department of Forest and Wood Science at the University of Stellenbosch is proud to host an international conference on future-focussed forest and wood properties modelling: New Frontiers in Forecasting Forests 2018.

About the meeting:

The ability to accurately predict future forest growth and structure, and the yields and quality of diverse products from these forests, is an essential part of forest management.  With changes in global climate patterns, rapid genetic gains in commercial forest sectors around the world and the serious risks posed internationally by pests and diseases, forecasting how forests will develop is increasingly challenging.  New innovations in statistical modelling techniques, as well as significant advances in process-based modelling approaches are leading, however, to major improvements in modelling success.  In the context of challenges facing forestry professionals around the world, this conference will provide an opportunity to bring together scientists, modelers and managers in a focused forum to present and discuss advances in models predicting future attributes of forests.  The conference will be organised as plenary sessions to bring stakeholders together around four key themes that pertain to the broader topic.  To give each session strong context and provide delegates with a clear view of the current trends and scientific cutting edge, five 40 minute presentations will be delivered by our invited keynote speakers.  After finalisation of all submissions, the four themes have been identified for the meeting as:

  • Understanding and evaluating uncertainties in models predicting future growth, yield and wood properties
  • The nexus between models of tree growth, wood formation and product properties
  • Model application, integration and accessibility for forest management, planning and product development
  • The cutting edge in forest measurements and models

The conference has in scope a range of research into and applications of forecasting models (i.e. models predicting future attributes, including yield, structural aspects or wood properties) in forests, with a focus on work being done in managed forests, including plantations. Research taking empirical, process-based or mixed approaches to modelling at any scale is acceptable, and research looking into methods of deriving data to support and develop models is also in scope.

The three main objectives of the meeting are to

  • benchmark the state-of-the-art,
  • identify emerging frontiers and
  • explore new innovations and technologies

in models predicting future forest growth, yield and wood properties.

An important aspect of the meeting will be to explore and discuss how new frontiers in forest modelling research can be implemented to empower decision makers and deliver impact, particularly in the context of changing international climate and market conditions.

Registering for the meeting:

Even if you're not planning to present a paper at the meeting, don't forget to register.  The registration fee will include

  • Access to all presentations and discussions at the meeting
  • Regular refreshments and an excellent lunch on full conference days
  • Attendance at the conference banquet (incl. limited beverages)
  • Cocktails and refreshments at poster session/s
  • Conference bag and materials

Delegates can also sign up for an optional welcoming function, including cocktails and snacks, and at which early registration will be available.  This is scheduled for the evening of Monday 24th September.


The conference will be held at the acclaimed Wallenberg Centre at the Stellenbosch Insitute for Advanced study (STIAS) in the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch.  Find out more about the venue and accomodation and travel options here.



Instructions for Presenters

Information for delegates giving oral or poster presentations has now been posted here.  Please keep an eye on this page, as we will be updating it as we finalise our arrangements for the meeting.  
Posted: 2018-09-03

Program and Schedule Change

Please note that the program and schedule has been slightly changed.  The program on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th will now start at 8:30 am, rather than just after 8 am, as was previously the case.  Also, A short closing presentation will be made on Friday 28th at 10:35, followed by morning tea refreshments at 11 am for those delegates who wish to stay for a while!  
Posted: 2018-08-24

Gala dinner


The NFFF Organising Committee is pleased to announce that we have finalised a venue for our gala dinner on the evening of Wednesday 26th September.

We will enjoy dinner at the beautiful and historic Lanzerac wine farm on the outskirts of Stellenbosch, only a short distance from the conference venue.  Delegates will have a chance to enjoy the award-winning wines, or sparkling grape drinks, produced from the local vineyards with their 3-course dinner.

We are sure that this will be a special occasion at which everyone will be able to really relax and enjoy catching up with or getting to know old and new colleagues!

We will run a "shuttle bus" service at the beginning and the end of the evening, so guests don't need to walk (although Lanzerac is within walking distance of several accomodation locations) or drive.

Posted: 2018-08-01
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