Research Overview

Research in the lab focuses on the spatial patterns and processes of biodiversity and ecosystem function. We use remote sensing and field observations together with mechanistic and statistical modeling to understand how ecosystems change through space and time.

Current Projects

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is preparing to conduct its first Biodiversity field campaign incorporating airborne imaging spectroscopy, lidar, and field observations across South Africa’s Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) including surrounding coastal and marine environments. The GCFR contains two Global Biodiversity Hotspots​ with the richest temperate flora and the third-highest marine endemism in the world. The field campaign includes collection of new hyperspectral data ranging from UV to thermal wavelengths acquired by PRISM, AVIRIS-NG, and HyTES spectrometers combined with the LVIS laser altimeter aboard the NASA GIII and GV aircraft. 

This NASA-funded project will integrate multi-decadal time series of remote sensing images, field observations, and environmental variables to predict and evaluate near-real-time changes in an open ecosystem: the fynbos of the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. Novel statistical modeling and geospatial artificial intelligence methods will be developed to fuse these big geo data and perform ecological forecasting and anomaly detection to advance our understanding of the vegetation dynamics in the study region.  Read more here.

Publications and Presentations