Journeys in ancient and old growth forests

About AFER

CRW_2601Ancient Forest Exploration & Research (AFER) is a non-profit charitable organization formed in 1992. The organization is dedicated to research and education related to ancient and old-growth forests. AFER’s research has focused on identifying and characterizing old-growth forests in Temagami; identifying ancient forest landscapes in central Ontario; and mapping conservation corridors, including the Algonquin to Adirondack (A2A) corridor. The results of this research can be found on the publications page.

AFER was involved in the creation of several educational handbooks and trail guides, including the White Bear Forest guide and the guide to the Blueberry Lake ecology trails. AFER maintains the list of Ontario’s oldest trees, and a database of old-growth forests of North America.

AFER is currently working to raise awareness of the threat of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid and other invasive forest pests, which are a serious threat to North American forests

Read More about our history and mission, or contact us.

Michael Henry is a senior ecologist with Ancient Forest Exploration and Research. He first worked with AFER in the mid-1990’s studying the old-growth pine forests of central Ontario. Since then he has continued to do research and education work in these forests, and forests in other parts of Ontario, Hawaii, and interior British Columbia. Michael designed and constructed the Blueberry Lake Ecology Trails in Temagami, Ontario. He has written reports, trail guides and magazine articles on old-growth forests and other natural history topics. He is the lead author of Ontario’s old-growth forests.

Michael writes about forest issues at, and about sustainable building and broader issues of sustainability at

Dr. Peter Quinby is the founding executive director of Ancient Forest Exploration & Research (created in 1992).  Since 2004, he has been Chair of the Board of Directors and Chief Scientist and has studied landscape ecology and conservation since 1980.  As a graduate student at Yale University, he was involved in watershed-ecosystem studies at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire.  For his Ph.D. project at the University of Toronto, he studied the influence of habitat conditions on forest vegetation composition in the upland landscapes of Algonquin Park, Ontario.  For three years starting in 1988, he was Director of Conservation Science and Research Ecologist with the Temagami Wilderness Society.  Between 1987 and 1991, Dr. Quinby was Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management at Wilfrid Laurier University; from 1994 to 2000, he was Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pittsburgh; from 2000 to 2003, Dr. Quinby was Dean of Natural Resources, Sciences and Liberal Arts at Paul Smith’s College; and from 2003 to 2007, he was Director of the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology at the University of Pittsburgh.  In 2007, he became a senior scientist with Knight Piesold Consulting in North Bay, Ontario until he returned to working as a consulting ecologist in 2014.  Dr. Quinby is certified as a Senior Ecologist through the Ecological Society of America and has produced numerous scientific articles and technical reports addressing the topics of forest landscape ecology and conservation, species at risk, wildlife habitat assessment and suitability, and natural areas management.