Get to know Tom ahead of his Inaugural Speech

It’s one week until Tom’s Inaugural Speech on February 20, 2018! He will be talking about what makes the Crowther Lab unique, the work of the incredible scientists working together in the lab, and the impact we hope to have on combatting the issues around the climate.

While we want as many people as possible to come, it’s understandable that you may not want to if you have no idea who Tom is. So, here’s a brief blog through Tom’s background to get to know him a little better.

To kick things off

3 things you might not know about Tom:

  • He has played Andy Murray in tennis.
  • He had a stroke when he was 27.
  • He adopted a baby squirrel named Fran (scroll down for her photo).



Tom’s first year at Cardiff University was a bit of a blur. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to focus on academically, so football and socialising took precedence. In his final year, Tom was thrown out of one of his lectures for being too disruptive. After the lecture, he was given a dressing down by his professor Hefin Jones, who later went on to be his PhD advisor and now friend.

From Yale to ETH

After Tom’s PhD, he was accepted by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in New Haven to carry out his post-doc. It was in Yale that Tom worked on what is still probably one of his most famous papers, ‘Mapping tree density at a global scale’ which was published in Nature.

After his time in Yale, Tom moved to Utrecht to continue his career in climate change ecology which finally led him to ETH, Zurich. Alongside University funding, Tom and the lab have also been granted 3 years of funding by the DOB Ecology. They have invested in the Crowther Lab to ensure it has the people and resources to carry out the research to better understand climate change and how to combat it.

If you are interested in coming, Tom will be presenting at 17:15 on the 19th February in the ETH Main Campus. We will be providing complimentary food and drink afterwards so if you come purely for the free fodder, we won’t judge you here. Those who find free dinners are most definitely winners.

We will be streaming the speech on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so be sure to tune in.

Tom's adopted squirrel, Fran