Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Project Team

This ANDS-funded project will fuse disconnected data sources weather, remotely sensed land-surface observations, CO2 and water flux measurements, hydrograph data and remotely sensed CO2 concentrations—to generate a time-varying field of gross primary production across the Australian continent. It will develop a software infrastructure allowing different ecosystem models to be compared with one another and with data, and a specific realization—a near real-time GPP hindcast at 0.05˚ resolution—with proven, simple light use efficiency and water balance models at its core. The project deliverables will be of strategic value to climate and carbon policy makers in Australia, and of great utility for benchmarking ecosystem models in Earth system science.

Professor Colin Prentice - Macquarie University

Project Manager
Professor Colin Prentice
Macquarie University

My work concerns the global terrestrial biosphere and its dynamic interactions with the atmosphere and climate. Much of my research centres on the modelling of ecosystem processes and scaling up from processes at the level of plants and soil micro-organisms to describe the large-scale exchanges of water, carbon dioxide and trace gases between the atmosphere and land. I have pioneered the development of global plant geography models (as the leader of the team that developed the BIOME family of models) and, since then, the development of global models to represent vegetation dynamics (the LPJ and LPX models). My present research focuses on the "next generation" of ecosystem and land surface models, incorporating new developments in ecology and ecophysiology including optimal allocation theory and plant hydraulics, and on developing tools for model evaluation and improvement using a variety of data sources ranging from eddy flux and atmospheric trace gas concentration measurements to isotopic measurements, remote sensing and palaeodata. I am also working on the quantification and analysis of sources and sinks of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and reactive trace gases, and biogeochemical cycles and feedbacks to climate.

Professor Alfredo Huete

Scientific Advisor
Professor Alfredo Huete
University of Technology Sydney

My main research interest is the use of remote sensing to study and analyse broad-scale vegetation health and functioning. I use high frequency satellite data to observe land surface responses and interactions with climate, land use activities, and major disturbance events. I also look at vegetation dynamics and landscape phenology processes to detect shifts in seasonalities under global change conditions. My recent work on satellite-based analyses of  tropical rainforest and savanna phenology patterns was featured in a National Geographic special entitled "The Big Picture". Currently my research involves coupling eddy covariance tower flux measurements with field spectral sensors and satellite observations to better understand carbon and water cycling across Australian landscapes.  I am actively involved with several international space programs in the U.S., Japan, and Europe and lead the Sydney node facility within AusCover- TERN.

Dr Helen Cleugh - CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

Scientific Advisor
Dr Helen Cleugh
CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR)

Dr Helen Cleugh is leading research that explores the interactions and feedbacks between the land surface and the climate system. A scientist with CSIRO since 1994, Dr Cleugh is currently Deputy Chief in CSIRO’s Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research. She is also Deputy Director of The Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research. The Centre is a jointly managed research partnership between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.
Dr Cleugh is also part of a dynamic and highly productive research team that maintains long-term measurements of carbon exchanges and water use in a variety of Australian ecosystems, including forests, vineyards, savannas and city suburbs. These measurements are needed to observe, understand and model the dynamics of carbon, water and energy cycles in Australian ecosystems; and explore the effects of climate variability and change – especially the vulnerability of land-based carbon sinks.

Scientific Advisor
Dr Sarah Mikaloff Fletcher
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) (NZ)

Dr Sara Mikaloff Fletcher earned her PhD at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she used atmospheric observations and models to estimate methane emissions to the atmosphere. She employed similar techniques to determine air-sea fluxes of CO2 using ocean interior data and ocean general circulation models during her postdoctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles. After finishing her post doctoral work, she joined the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Program at Princeton University where she used atmospheric and oceanic models to study the past and present carbon cycle. In January of 2010, she and her family moved to New Zealand, so that she could take up a position at NIWA.

Dr Natalia Restrepo-Coupe - University of Technology Sydney

Dr Natalia Restrepo-Coupe
University of Technology Sydney

After receiving my PhD in 2005 I moved to the University of Arizona to work as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Professor Scott Saleska researching the phenology and seasonality of ecosystem productivity and evapotranspiration in the Amazon Basin. At UTS, I am now working in Prof. Alfredo Huete’s C3 Ecological Modelling and Remote Sensing Group, where we are integrating remote sensing observations (from both tower-mounted optical sensors and satellites) with field eco-hydrologic and tower-based flux measurements (eddy-covariance, EC). Our goal is to study and understand seasonal and inter-annual patterns of evapotranspiration and photosynthesis in different Australian ecosystems.

Kevin Davies
University of Technology, Sydney

Kevin has a background in Information Technology and Environmental Management, having completed a B.Info.Tech (UTS) and an M.App.Sci (University of Sydney) specialising in GIS and Remote Sensing. He previously worked with the University of Sydney as GIS Coordinator for the ‘Living with Heritage’ ARC industry project supporting heritage and archaeology research in Angkor, Cambodia. He joined the Ecological Modelling, Remote Sensing, and Terrestrial Ecohydrology Research groups within the Climate Change Cluster (C3) group at UTS in early 2011, as an e-Research supported Data Manager, where he provides technical support for the management of multi-scale data generated from satellite imagery, flux-based instrument networks, tower-based phenocams, continuous optical measuring sensors, and model output data. Kevin is completing his PhD in remote sensing with the University of Sydney.

Bradley John Evans
Macquarie University

Bradley has research interests in the fusion of remote sensing and in-situ light and climate observations into simple land surface models. Bradley has researched this topic from leaf to landscape too better understand the spatial and temporal impacts of our changing climate in terms of ecosystem condition and productivity. Bradley has published a methodology for modelling the condition of individual trees using high resolution imagery and statistical modelling of in-situ assessments of crown condition. Bradley is presently completing his PhD part time and working on applying it using landscape and global scale remotely sensed imagery and similarly down-scaled methodologies. Bradley has collaborated with international groups on improving both the models behind global estimations of forest productivity (i.e. Gross Primary Productivity and Net Primary Productivity) and the uptake of these data.

Primary Production in Space and Time has officially started on April 1, 2012 with the appointment of Bradley Evans who will develop and implement the software infrastructure and Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) product, liaising as required with co-developers at CMAR and UTS. As part of the ANDS funding agreement a series of blog postings will document its development and completion.

Bradley will lead a quality control process including provision of summary statistics of goodness-of-fit to the various data sources, and identifying causes of any systematic differences from pre-existing GPP estimates including MODIS (MOD17) and BIOS2. Bradley will write documentation for the software to be posted, together with the code, on this blog.

This project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative.

For more information visit the ANDS website and Research Data Australia