THIS year's Royal Forestry Society (RFS) Viking Bursary has gone to a PhD researcher studying the effects of climate change on tree species' leaves and canopy. 

William Hagan Brown, based at the University of Plymouth, bagged the £2,000 cash boost for his work at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research-Free-Air Carbon Enrichment (BIFoR-FACE) facility. 

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Looking at "The Impact of Climate Change on the Forest Canopy Temperatures: from Mechanisms to Implications", he aims to determine how hot leaves and canopy of forests will become under future climate change.

He said: “The grant will help me cover my travel and accommodation costs associated with my research activities at BIFoR FACE.” 

Measurements of leaf thermal tolerance will provide information on species' ability to withstand extreme conditions under climate change.

William’s studies focus on Quercus robur (oak) and other species within the facility. His research is due to be completed in September 2025. 

The Viking Bursary for students in higher education has been established thanks to a bequest by Sheila Jorgensen, a former RFS Yorkshire Division member. An award of up to £2,000 is awarded annually at the discretion of the RFS Yorkshire Division committee. 

The Viking Bursary will re-open for applications in January 2024. Follow the bursaries links at for more information.