Research

Our research areas are on ground, airborne, and satellite remote sensing of vegetation from the leaf level to the global scale with special focus on:

  • plant structural and photosynthetic traits
  • land surface and carbon uptake phenology
  • terrestrial ecosystem primary productivity and greenness
  • global change impact on terrestrial ecosystem productivity, and
  • terrestrial carbon cycle modelling

We have done, and are doing, remote sensing of vegetation studies at ecological monitoring sites (e.g., eddy covariance tower networks); on improved product development at regional scale (e.g., leaf area index, primary productivity and land surface phenology); and on global change impact assessment on terrestrial ecosystem productivity at regional (e.g., circumpolar land surface phenology and atmospheric CO2 seasonality) and global scales. Besides remote sensing data, we use ground measurements of plant biophysical variables, photosynthetic traits, atmospheric CO2 concentration, eddy covariance CO2 fluxes and plant phenology; gridded climate data records; terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycle models; and Earth System Model (ESM) outputs.

We develop improved remote sensing methods and products for terrestrial ecosystems relevant to the global change studies. Using satellite remote sensing products, ground observations and mechanistic models, we also study the impacts of climate change and variability on terrestrial ecosystems, and related feedbacks to the atmosphere through carbon cycle.

Projects

  1. Carbon stock vulnerability mapping for Canada and field sampling and disturbance modelling in the Hudson and James bay lowlands. World Wildlife Fund Canada. PI: Alemu Gonsamo (2021-2022) ($203627 CAD)
  2. Climate-Sensitive Forest Growth and Yield Modelling Using Machine Learning. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. PI: Alemu Gonsamo (2020 – 2022) ($45000 CAD)     
  3. Tier II Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystems. PI: Alemu Gonsamo (2020 – 2025) ($520000 CAD)     
  4. Satellite remote sensing of global change ecology from the leaf to the globe. PI: Alemu Gonsamo (2020-2025). Early Career Researcher NSERC Discovery Grant & Discovery Launch Supplement ($162500 CAD)
  5. Carbon storage and distribution in terrestrial ecosystems of Canada. 2019-2020. PI: Alemu Gonsamo. World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada) ($74812 CAD)

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