Wils, T.H.G.

Dr. T.H.G. (Tom) Wils


I was educated as a physical geographer at Utrecht University (MSc) and worked as a teacher in geography at the Christelijk Lyceum Zandvliet in The Hague. Subsequently, I researched environmental change in the Horn of Africa at Swansea University (PhD) using tree rings. I also work(ed) as a lecturer in Geography, Earth System Science and Education at Rotterdam and Fontys Universities of Applied Sciences, and contribute to writing geography school books at Noordhoff Uitgevers.


My current research focuses on land use, soil subsidence and greenhouse gas emissions in Dutch peatlands. It aims to identify economically viable measures to reduce soil subsidence in Dutch rural areas, mainly peatlands, while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing biodiversity.


Educational Activities

I will supervise Master students during their thesis research.

Key Publications

Zuidema, P.A., Babst, F., Groenendijk, P., Trouet, V. (…), T. Wils & Z.-K. Zhou, 2022. Tropical tree growth driven by dry-season climate variability. Nature Geoscience 15, p. 269-276.


Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Woodborne, S., Hall, G., Koprowski, M. & Z. Eshetu, 2016. Anthropogenic forcing increases the water-use efficiency of African trees. Journal of Quaternary Science 31, p. 386-390. → Research Highlight in Nature, 30 June 2016: African trees cope with warming. Nature 534, p. 593.


Koprowski, M., Robertson, I., Wils, T.H.G. & H.M. Kalaji, 2015. The application of potato starch effluent causes a reduction in the photosynthetic efficiency and growth of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). Trees – Structure and Function 29, p. 1471-1481.


Williams, A.P., Funk, C., Michaelsen, J., Rauscher, S.A., Robertson, I., Wils, T.H.G., Koprowski, M., Eshetu, Z. & N.J. Loader, 2012. Recent summer precipitation trends in the Greater Horn of Africa and the emerging role of Indian Ocean sea surface temperature. Climate Dynamics 39, p. 2307-2328.


Wils, T.H.G., Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W., Eshetu, Z., Bräuning, A., Gebrekirstos, A., Couralet, C., Robertson, I., Touchan, R., Koprowski, M., Conway, D., Briffa, K. & H. Beeckman, 2011. Dendrochronology in the dry tropics: the Ethiopian case. Trees – Structure and Function 25, p. 345-354.


Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Eshetu, Z., Touchan, R., Sass-Klaassen, U. & M. Koprowski, 2011. Crossdating Juniperus procera from North Gondar, Ethiopia. Trees – Structure and Function 25, p. 71-82.


Wils, T.H.G., Robertson, I., Eshetu, Z., Koprowski, M., Sass-Klaassen, U.G.W., Touchan, R. & N.J. Loader, 2010. Towards a reconstruction of Blue Nile baseflow from Ethiopian tree rings. The Holocene 20, p. 837-848.


Sass-Klaassen, U., Poole, I., Wils, T., Helle, G., Schleser, G.H. & P.F. van Bergen, 2005. Carbon and oxygen isotope dendrochronology in sub-fossil bog oak tree rings – a preliminary study. IAWA Journal 26, p. 121-136.

Tommy Wils

Postdoc Researcher

Availability: Monday & Thursday