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Changing the landscape of conservation

We use high-resolution remote sensing to understand how forests are responding to global environmental changes including logging, land management and climate change, addressing key issues in ecology and conversation.

Conserving the world’s dwindling biological diversity is one of the most pressing issues facing mankind. I lead a research group that is actively engaged in addressing these issues, as well as tackling more fundamental ecological questions. Focusing on forest conservation and ecology, my research uses large databases and modern computational approaches, alongside traditional field approaches.

I’m only four academics from Charles Darwin.

Head of Group 
Professor David Coomes
Head of Group
Professor David Coomes

About Us

Who we are

  • Team photo 2018 in Cambridge University Botanic Garden
  • Team photo 2007 in Norfolk coast

What we do

Laser Scanning Forest Carbon

Airborne laser scanning (ALS) and hyperspectral imaging provide a new perspective on ecological dynamics, allowing us to track both the demography of individual trees and properties of the canopy over vast areas…

Forest Biodiversity

We are interested in modelling plant distributions and patterns of species diversity…

How Forest are Responding to Global Change

Our group seeks to describe and quantify processes such as mortality, regeneration and species interactions, and how they change over time and across the landscape…


Where we are

We are a group of researchers at University of Cambridge. Being part of the Conservation Research Institute, our offices are in David Attenborough Building at New Museum site; Being part of Department of Plant Sciences, our wet labs are at Downing site.

Latest Publications

Partial river flow recovery with forest age is rare in the decades following establishment

River flow responses to forestation at annual time scales The landscapes of the future might look very different to those today, and many have argued that increasing tree cover is essential to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. But forests affect many naturalprocesses, including water availability. We systematically reviewed the literature to determine howContinue reading “Partial river flow recovery with forest age is rare in the decades following establishment”

A Research Agenda for Microclimate Ecology in Human-Modified Tropical Forests

Logging and habitat fragmentation impact tropical forest ecosystems in numerous ways, perhaps the most striking of which is by altering the temperature, humidity, and light environment of the forest—its microclimate. Because local-scale microclimatic conditions directly influence the physiology, demography and behavior of most species, many of the impacts of land-use intensification on the biodiversity andContinue reading “A Research Agenda for Microclimate Ecology in Human-Modified Tropical Forests”

Imaging spectroscopy reveals the effects of topography and logging on the leaf chemistry of tropical forest canopy trees

In this study we show that logged tropical forests have reduced leaf nutrient concentrations compared with old-growth forests and this becomes more pronounced as forests recover in stature. Our findings suggest rock-derived nutrients, such as phosphorus, in short supply in tropical forests on old soils, are depleted by as much as 30% by logging. ThisContinue reading “Imaging spectroscopy reveals the effects of topography and logging on the leaf chemistry of tropical forest canopy trees”

Contact us

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