In 2012 Geoff established and is currently operating a private forest research company (Forest quality Pty Ltd; www.forestquality.com ) with a focus on providing access to NIR analytical services to the forest industry and more recently initiating and supporting the uptake of the use of resistance drilling for rapid wood quality assessment in standing trees.
Prior to this Geoff spent 20 years as a Senior/Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO, after working at the University of Melbourne and Aberdeen University (Scotland). His main research interests revolve around wood quality issues in plantation forests, particularly in regard to site and climate effects on wood formation. He has led a range of projects dealing with physiological modelling of wood formation, applications of near-infra-red spectroscopy to the non-destructive prediction of wood properties, and improved wood utilisation of eucalypt plantations (CRC Forestry).
Geoff has authored / co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed journal publications (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Geoffrey-Downes) and book chapters, over 60 conference papers. He was the lead author of the 1997 book "Sampling plantation eucalypts for wood and fibre properties". He has been an invited keynote speaker at international conferences in Europe, South Africa and South America. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the International Academy of Wood Science.
He is a member of the Tasmanian Lighthorse Historical Troop.