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Ashton, Peter S.

Job title: 

Honorary Research Associate

Honorary Research Associate
Foreign languages: 

Malay, Iban, French (spoken only)

Qualifications and appointments: 
  • BA Univ. Cambridge, 1956
  • MA, Univ. Cambridge, 1960
  • PhD, Cambridge University, 1962
  • Hon. MA, Harvard University, 1979
  • Hon. DSc, Univ. Peradeniya, 2002
  • Trustee, Massachusetts Horticultural Society (1980-86)
  • Corporation Member, Boston Museum of Science (1980-86)
  • Trustee, New England Wildflower Society (1983-86)
  • Board, Coolidge Center for Environmental Leadership (Trustee 1983-94, Chair 1983-85)
  • Trustee, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass. (1987-2001)
  • President, Int. Assoc. of Botanic Gardens & Arboreta (1987-93)
  • Trustee, Fauna and Flora Preservation Society, USA (1987-89)
  • Founding President, Center for Plant Conservation, Inc. (1988-93)
  • Board of Governors, U.S. Nature Conservancy (1989-96)
  • Advisory Board, Center for Tropical Forest Science, Smithsonian Trop. Res. Inst.
  • Tropics Committee, Royal Society of London.

Evolutionary biology and ecology of rainforest trees and their communities; conservation biology; the history of the tree in art.

Monographic, field and evolutionary studies of Dipterocarpaceae, the species-rich family that dominates the canopy of lowland forests in Asia; ecology of tree communities and forests of the Asian tropics; origin and maintenance of tree species diversity. Current projects include a revision of Myrtaceae for the ‘Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak' (submitted) and a book on the forests of tropical Asia, in part to set the context for the design of the STRI/CTFS network of 10 long term forest research sites, and collaborations, throughout tropical Asia.


Selected publications: 

Ashton, P.S. (2005). Dipterocarpaceae. In Soepadmo, E., Saw, L.G. & Chung, R.C.K. (eds) Tree Flora of Sabah and SarawakMalaysia: FRIM. 63-388, 485-486, 495-498.

Ashton, P.S. & Appanah, S. (2004). Revision of C.F. Symington's Forester’s Manual of Dipterocarps. Malaysia: Malayan Nature Society and Forest Research Institute.

Ashton, P.S., Kamariah, A.S. & Said, I.M. (2003). A Field guide to the Forest Trees of Brunei Darussalam. Darussalam: Universiti Brunei. Pp 281.

Potts, M.D., Ashton, P.S., Kaufman, L.S., & Plotkin, J.B. (2002). Habitat patterns in tropical rain forests: a comparison of 105 plots in northwest Borneo. Ecology 83(10): 2782–2797.

Ashton, P.S. (2002). Dipterocarpaceae. In Kubitzki, K. (ed) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, IV. Flowering Plants. Dicotyledons: Malvales, Capparales and Non-betalain Caryophyllales. Berlin: Springer Verlag. 182-197.