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Advanced image analysis to estimate tropical forest carbon fluxes from repeat-measures airborne laser scanning

Supervisor: David A Coomes (Principle Supervisor), with Carola Schönlieb (DAMPT).

Reference Code: C218

Importance of the area of research concerned: Tropical rainforests are a critical component of the global carbon cycle, but estimates of global carbon stocks and fluxes within the biome are highly uncertain, largely because carbon fluxes within complex human-dominated tropical landscapes are hard to track with confidence.  This project will use cutting edge technology

Project summary: Tropical rainforests are a critical component of the global carbon cycle, but estimates of global carbon stocks and fluxes within the biome are highly uncertain, largely because carbon fluxes within complex human-dominated tropical landscapes are hard to track with confidence.  Working with cutting-edge airborne laser scanning (ALS) data from >200 km2 of human modified landscapes in Sabah, Malaysia, we aim to generate far more precise estimates of carbon fluxes than previously possible, and understand the drivers of change by pioneering approaches that keep track of the vital rates of individual trees over entire landscapes.

Please contact the lead supervisor directly for further information relating to what the successful applicant will be expected to do, training to be provided, and any specific educational background requirements.

References:

  • J. Lee, X. Cai, C.-B. Schonlieb, and D.A. Coomes. Non-parametric Image Registration of Airborne LiDAR, Hyperspectral and Photographic Imagery of Wooded Landscapes. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 99, pp. 1--12, 2015
  • Asner, G.P. et al.. 2014. Targeted carbon conservation at national scales with high-resolution monitoring. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:E5016-5022 doi:10.1073/pnas.1419550111
  • Espirito-Santo, F.D.B.  et al. 2014. Size and frequency of natural forest disturbances and the Amazon forest carbon balance. Nature Communications 5: doi:10.1038/ncomms4434