Dr Kyle Warwick Tomlinson    


Community Ecology & Conservation Group

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Menglun 666303, Yunnan, China;

Research Areas



Ph.D. (Applied Mathematics) - University of KwaZulu-Natal (1999-2006)

M.Sc. (Environment & Development) - University of Natal (1997-1998)

B.Sc. (Agriculture) - University of Natal (1993-1996)


Work Experience

1. Professor (January 2016-present), Associate professor (August 2013-) and Primary investigator (December 2013-), Community Ecology and Conservation Group, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), China

2. Post-doctoral researcher, GEST Project

(July 2007 – July 2013: Resource Ecology Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands)

3. Part-time consultant, subcontracted by C4 EcoSolutions (Cape Town, South Africa)

   (November 2012 – January 2013)

4. Post-doctoral researcher (August 2006 – May 2007)

   School of Bioresources, Engineering & Hydrology, University of KwaZulu-Natal

 5. Post-doctoral researcher (August 2005 – July 2006)

    School of Mathematical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal

6. Part-time Lecturer (February 2004 – July 2005): Mathematics

    School of Mathematical Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Teaching Experience

Course in Basic Statistics, 51st Annual meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Cairns, Australia, 14-19 July  2014. (6-day workshop covering basic univariate statistics and some multivariate methods).



1.Tomlinson, K.W., L. Poorter, F. Bongers, F. Borghetti, L. Jacobs, F. van Langevelde. 2014. Relative growth rate variation of evergreen and deciduous savanna tree species is driven by different traits. Annals of Botany 114: 315-324. doi:10.1093/aob/mcu107


2.Barbosa, E.R.M., K.W. Tomlinson, L.G. Carvalheiro, K. Kirkman, S. de Bie, H.H.T. Prins, F. van Langevelde. 2014. Short-term effect of nutrient availability and rainfall distribution on biomass production and leaf nutrient content of savanna tree species. PLoS ONE 9: e92619. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092619


3.Barbosa ERM, van Langevelde F, Tomlinson KW, Kirkman K, de Bie S, Prins HHT. 2014. Tree species from different functional groups respond differently to environmental changes during establishment.  Oecologia 174: 1345-1357. doi:10.1007/s00442-013-2853-y


4.Tomlinson KW, van Langevelde F, Ward D, Bongers F, da Silva DA, Prins HHT, de Bie S & Sterck FJ. 2013. Deciduous and evergreen trees differ in juvenile biomass allometries because of differences in allocation to root storage. Annals of Botany 112: 575–587. doi:10.1093/aob/mct132


5.Tomlinson KW, Poorter L, Sterck FJ, Borghetti F, Ward D, de Bie S & van Langevelde F 2013. Leaf adaptations of evergreen and deciduous trees of semi-arid and humid savannas on three continents.  Journal of Ecology 101: 430-440. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12056.x


6.Tomlinson KW, Sterck FJ, Bongers F, da Silva DA, Barbosa ERM, Ward D, et al. 2012. Biomass partitioning and root morphology of savanna trees across a water gradient. Journal of Ecology 100: 1113-1121. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2012.01975.x


7.Moore S, Shrestha S, Tomlinson KW & Vuong H. 2011. Predicting the effect of climate change on African trypanosomiasis: integrating epidemiology with parasite and vector biology. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2011.0654. 


8.Tomlinson KW, Hearne JW, Dominy JG & O’Connor TG 2007. A functional-structural model for growth of clonal bunchgrasses. Ecological Modelling 202: 243-264.


9.Tomlinson KW & O’Connor TG 2005. The effect of defoliation environment on primary growth allocation and secondary tiller recruitment of two bunchgrasses. African Journal of Range and Forage Science 22: 29-36.


10.Tomlinson KW & O’Connor TG 2004. Control of tiller recruitment in bunchgrasses: uniting physiology and ecology. Functional Ecology 18: 489-496.


11.Tomlinson KW, Hearne JW & Alexander RR 2002. An approach to evaluate the effect of property size on land-use options in semi-arid rangelands. Ecological Modelling 149: 85-95.


12.Tomlinson KW, Sterk FJ, Barbosa ERM, de Bie S, Prins HHT & van Langevelde F. Responses of savanna tree seedlings to grass competition: trade-offs, important traits, and geographical patterns. (submitted to Ecology)


13.Monoy CC, Yap SL, Tomlinson KW & Slik JWF. Cyclone intensity, more than frequency, drives changes in tree traits and composition in a Pacific dipterocarp forest. (submitted to Ecosystems)


14.Tomlinson KW, van Langevelde F, Ward DM, Prins HHT de Bie S, Vosman B, Sampaio EVSB & Sterck F. Defence against vertebrate herbivores diverges into architectural and low nutrient strategies amongst savanna tree species (submitted to OIKOS)


Research Interests

 Our group core research focuses on species community composition and functional diversity across environmental gradients. We also research how communities and populations are evolving subject to land-use change and climate change, in order to understand their implications for the conservation of plant communities and species. We do this with the help of community diversity analyses,  remote sensing (GIS), molecular techniques and experimental methods.


1.51st Annual meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation, Cairns, Australia.


2. 93rd Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, USA.


3.Proceedings of the VIIth International Rangeland Congress, Durban, South Africa.



1.Tomlinson KW. 2014. The mixed success of Mimosoideae clades invading into Australia. In: Prins HHT, Gordon I (eds) Invasion biology and ecological theory: insights from a continent in transformation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Pp 39-57.


2.Van Langevelde F, Tomlinson KW, Barbosa ERM, de Bie S, Prins HHT, Higgins SI 2011. Understanding tree-grass coexistence and impacts of disturbance and resource variability in savannas. In: Hill MJ, Hanan NL (eds). Ecosystem function in savannas: measurement and modelling at landscape to global scales. CRC Press, Boca Raton, USA. pp 257-271.



张梦琪  硕士研究生  085238-生物工程  

申贤慧  硕士研究生  071300-生态学  

楚莹莹  博士研究生  071300-生态学  


申贤慧  博士研究生  071300-生态学  

Honors & Distinctions

1. 1996: Grassland Society Medal for Best Fourth Year Project and Seminar

2. 2014: Chinese Academy of Sciences: Fellowship for Young International Scientists

3. 2017: Yunnan Foreign Experts Bureau Colourful Cloud Award.