Spatial Ecology & Remote Sensing
Our research interests focus on the role of vegetation, its composition and structure on land surface processes and climate feedbacks. Radiation is one of the key factors linking land surface and atmospheric processes. At the same time, radiation is a limiting growth factor of vegetation, be it in the short wavelength range as photosynthetically active radiation or in the longwave domain as temperature. Our goal is to contribute to ecological and climatological questions through combined field and satellite radiation measurements, radiative modelling, and ecological experimental approaches, from the plant to the landscape scale.
Methodologically, the emphasis lies on continuous process-related ecosystem variables (e.g. albedo and plant functional types), going beyond traditional land cover types with spatially sharp class boundaries. Our focus is on vegetation dynamics and related carbon processes in Northeastern Siberian tundra, while we contribute to ongoing research in animal movement in the Okavango delta in Botswana, and on the Aldabra atoll.
- We are pleased to announce that Angela Erb was granted a distinction by the Faculty of Science for her MSc thesis entitled ‘Impact of Changing Shrub Cover in the Arctic on the Shortwave Reflected and Transmitted Radiation’. We congratulate Angela to this outstanding achievement and look forward to further collaboration in her new position as a PhD student at the University of Massachusetts, Boston!
- Gabriela is now chairing the Land product validation (LPV) subgroup of CEOS, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites
- Vegetation composition and changes in Siberian tundra ecosystems
- Arctic shrub encroachment and related feedbacks to permafrost and climate
- Land surface reflectance and albedo definitions and measurements
- Validation of satellite-inferred land products
- Spatial patterns of vegetation and animal movement
Projects and collaborations
- Tundra energy balance
- Global change and biodiversity (URPP GCB)
- Zurich-Aldabra research platform (ZARP)
- CEOS Land product validation (LPV)
- Shrub Hub
Head of the group: Dr. Gabriela Schaepman-Strub