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October 10, 2017

Charlotte Smith

Charlotte Smith

PhD: A multi-scale assessment of the regrowth potential of secondary forests in the Brazilian Amazon

Room A29a, LEC1
Lancaster University

Tel: 07918 110348

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My academic career began with the University of Exeter in Cornwall, where I studied BSc Conservation Biology and Ecology, followed by MSc Sustainable Development (Climate Change and Risk Management). Studying with Exeter gave me the opportunity to work with the Met Office’s Head of Climate Impacts, Professor Richard Betts, on my Master’s dissertation, investigating the feasibility of global land cover projections at a regional scale.

My academic interests are broadly focussed around tropical forests, including their ecology, the role they play in climate regulation and the impacts of logging. I am also a strong advocate for working to increase public engagement in science and improving how science is communicated beyond the academic community.

In the time I spent away from academia, I worked with a small IT company to develop an online system, which will increase the integrity and transparency of Forest Stewardship Council certificated products and supply chains. As well as exposing me to the commercial side of forestry, this role also introduced me to the world of Python programming, which I hope I will be able to continue working with during my PhD and beyond.

Research Project:

My study will make use of a multi-scale remote sensing approach and comprehensive forest inventory data to model and predict the carbon and biodiversity value of secondary forests. I will be linking data from survey plots with airborne and terrestrial LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and satellite images to address the following questions:

Q1. Can we quantify key ecosystem values and processes within secondary forests by linking data on forest structure and biodiversity collected in a network of secondary forest plots with optical and LiDAR remote sensing?

Q2. How do soil, climate and land-use configuration affect the successional trajectory of secondary forests across regions (>1 million hectares), and can we identify key thresholds that may be limiting forest recovery?

Q3. Can we provide Amazon-wide estimates of the recovery of carbon and biodiversity in secondary forests?