Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Research Group of Computational Geo-Ecology (IBED-CGE)

Computational Geo-Ecology is a multi-disciplinary research group.  We aim at increasing our understanding of the diversity and dynamics of ecosystems by focusing on specific aspects of ecosystem functioning at different temporal, spatial and hierarchical scales.  Our work spans topics such as changing patterns of geo-diversity and the processes that shape it, the behavioural response of individuals to their local environment and consequences of changing environmental conditions for populations, communities and species. How is our landscape changing? How do organisms cope with environmental conditions that change in space and time? To what extent can we aggregate individual behaviour to the observed spatial and temporal distributions of species?

While our research interests are broad, our general research approach is similar between studies.  We combine data-driven and concept-driven (theoretical) modelling and we try to close the gap between these two approaches. Our work often incorporates remote sensing tools and products such as radar, LiDAR, GPS tracking, satellite imagery and digital orthophotos to measure and characterize the environment and landscape we are interested in, or the distribution or movement of species we are studying.  In support of our studies we develop methodologies to improve observations, data analysis and model interpretation. To cope with extremely large data sets and output of environmental models we use an eScience approach and develop Virtual Laboratories (VLs) for data visualization, integration, exploration and analysis. Thus our work can often be divided into fundamental and applied research into ecosystem processes and a more methodological focus developing tools and infrastructure to facilitate such research.

Research Challenges

  • Understanding the influence of environmental conditions and human activities on bird movement at multiple scales
  • Analysis of remote sensing data, such as LiDAR data and satellite imagery, for monitoring changes in patterns and processes  at the earth’s surface.
  • Development of tools to facilitate computationally intensive ecological research in a spatially explicit context, with a focus on merging environmental data with animal movement data and promote “e-Ecology”, which helps bridge gaps between fields such as ecology, physical geography, meteorology and computer science.

Check the other sections of our website to learn more about our group members and the projects we are currently involved in.

Published by  IBED

26 November 2013