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.


  1. National carbon flux estimation system for forest ecosystems of Canada, (2021-2024) ($361,996 CAD). NSERC Alliance. PI: Alemu Gonsamo. Partners: World Wildlife Fund Canada (D.M. Snider); Natural Resources Canada (W.A. Kurz,); and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (X. Geng). Collaborators: University of Toronto (S. Finkelstein); and Mushkegowuk Council (V. Cheechoo)
  2. Carbon stock vulnerability mapping for Canada and field sampling and disturbance modelling in the Hudson and James bay lowlands, (2021-2022) ($203,627 CAD). World Wildlife Fund Canada. PI: Alemu Gonsamo
  3. Climate-Sensitive Forest Growth and Yield Modelling Using Machine Learning, (2020 – 2022) ($45,000 CAD). Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. PI: Alemu Gonsamo      
  4. Tier II Canada Research Chair in Remote Sensing of Terrestrial Ecosystems, (2020 – 2025) ($520,000 CAD). PI: Alemu Gonsamo      
  5. Satellite remote sensing of global change ecology from the leaf to the globe, (2020-2025) ($162,500 CAD). Early Career Researcher NSERC Discovery Grant & Discovery Launch Supplement. PI: Alemu Gonsamo
  6. Carbon storage and distribution in terrestrial ecosystems of Canada, 2019-2020 ($74,812 CAD). PI: Alemu Gonsamo. World Wildlife Fund Canada

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