School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences

Dr Edward Mitchard [Edward Mitchard]

I'm Dr Edward Mitchard, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. I lead a research group of 4 Postdocs and 5 PhD students, using Earth Observation (satellite and drone) data to map and monitor our changing tropical forests and peat swamps. My group and I are funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, several UK Natural Environment Research Council awards, the Leverhulme Trust, the UK Space Agency, and the European Space Agency.

I am proud to be on the Editorial Boards of the Open Access journals Remote Sensing and Frontiers in Forests and Global Change

For more information my projects, and my postdocs and PhD students, please see the Mitchard Group website, and see here for a list of my publications.

My group aims to improve our use of the plethora of Earth Observation satellites now in orbit to map the properties of, and changes in, the forests and peat swamps of the tropics. Here's a snapshot of the satellites currently orbiting Earth:

[Global satellites]

We can use these to make maps of deforestation: for example here is a figure of global deforestation from 2000-2012 I made using this dataset produced by Matt Hansen and colleagues at the University of Maryland using data from the Landsat satellites (brighter colours mean a greater proportion of that 10 km pixel was deforested over the period).

[Map of the world in deforestation]

However we cannot currently produce maps like these of forest degradation (where some trees are removed from an area, but it remains forest), nor of growth/regrowth, or of the massive amounts of carbon stored below the trees in peat swamps. Using various different satellites (particularly high resolution optical, radar and LiDAR) and data from our drones (we have fixed wing Delair Unmanned Aerial Vehicles fitted with a Reigl VUX-1 and MicaSense sensors) we are trying to address this and improve the information we can obtain from satellites.

I also have a keen interest in the tropical carbon cycle more generally, and recently wrote a review for Nature on the subject, link here

Some other links you might be interested in:

My Twitter feed

My Blog

A site I designed to compare maps of vegetation carbon stocks

My LinkedIn Page

Google citations page