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.
The emphasis lies on continuous process-related ecosystem variables (e.g. albedo, plant traits), going beyond traditional land cover types with spatially discrete class boundaries. Our focus is on vegetation dynamics, biodiversity and related permafrost-vegetation-atmosphere processes in Northeastern Siberian tundra.

Most Recent News

  • 09/01/20 - Exciting times with two substantial papers out within just 2 days by our group members:

    1. Terrestrial land-cover type richness is positively linked to landscape-level functioning in Nature Communications and the related UZH press release - congratulations, Jacqueline!
    2. Relation of fires in Siberia with preceding Arctic Oscillation patterns in Science Advances - congratulations, Jin-Soo!

  • 09/12/19 - Enjoy a short movie about the Siberian tundra by our MSc student Cengiz Akandil, screened at the Science Film Festival in November. Very well done, Cengiz and great music by your band!
  • 12/09/19 - A warm welcome to Vitalii Zemlianskii, our new PhD student who is working on plant species distribution in the Russian Arctic, combining legacy relevée data and species distribution modelling!
  • Excited to start a new BSc course in collaboration with Prof. Maria Santos - an introduction to Earth System Science, ESS101!
  • 01/09/19 -  Julia's paper on the effect of the latest El Nino on the coral reef benthos cover of Aldabra Atoll is accepted! Congratulations to Julia and big thanks to all co-authors!
  • 20/08/19 - Big congrats to Annabelle for her WIOMSA award! Contributes towards unprecedented data on sea level and salinity on Aldabra - but still much work and thinking ahead for installation of sensors!
  • 20/08/19 - Our  tortoise habitat use study, including a high-resolution habitat map for Aldabra, is finally out! Check it out!
  • 20/08/19 - Proceedings of the Arctic Vegetation Archive (AVA) workshop in Arkhangelsk are published by CAFF - they demonstrate progress made in archiving Arctic plot data!
  • 22/07/19 - Congratulations to Annabelle for her award for best poster of the day (Friday) during the Island Biology conference 2019!
  • 01/04/19 - Gabriela is starting her professorship in Earth System Sciences today!
  • 19/03/19 - Congratulations, Elena Plekhanova, for your IASC travel award to the Arctic Science Summit Weekin Arkhangelsk, May 2019!
  • 05/03/19 - Happy to announce my appointment as professor in Earth System Science at UZH, starting 1 April 2019! Looking forward to lots of continued and new interactions and collaborations with students and colleagues at UZH, in Switzerland, and internationally!
  • 20/02/19 - Congratulations to Annabelle Constance for her best poster award at Biology'19!
  • 04/02/19 - Welcome to Jacqueline Oehri, starting her postdoc today with us!
  • 01/18/19 - Welcome to Cengiz Akandil, looking forward to supervise you on your MSc thesis on Arctic land surface changes!

For news in the past, visit the full news list!

Research Themes:

  • Biodiversity and climate interactions in Arctic tundra ecosystems
  • Arctic shrub encroachment and its 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