Vegetation’s Responses to Climate Variability: What do satellite technologies see over Australia?

Talk audio recorded on 02 June 2016
Listen to the recording (MP3)

About the talk

Australia is the driest inhabited continent and has the most extreme climate in the world, rendering it a natural laboratory for scientific tests of vegetation dynamics, sensitivity, and resilience. The continent can dramatically switch from carbon sink to source through periodic drought and wet hydroclimatic pulses.

In his talk, Professor Alfredo Huete explores the role of satellite technologies in gaining a better understanding of Australian ecosystems as seen from space-measurements of vegetation greenness, moisture, temperature & fluorescence, as well as gravitational measures of total water storage.

With such observations, he addresses the potential for space-based detection of ecosystem vulnerability, biodiversity, and early warning signs of ecosystem fates, transitions, or collapse.

Professor Alfredo Huete

Professor Huete is a world renowned geospatial ecologist who uses advanced remote sensing tools to assess broad scale ecosystem functioning, vegetation phenology and ecosystem health. He uses satellite and field observations to assess vegetation responses to changes in climate, land use activities and major disturbance and extreme events.

Professor Huete has twenty-five years of experience in vegetation remote sensing for NASA mission teams. He is a founding and continuing member of the NASA-EOS MODIS Science Team. In recognition of his pioneering work in the design of vegetation satellite products used by the remote sensing community to assess vegetation biophysical states and processes of global ecosystems, he earned a NASA Service Achievement Award for NASA MODIS Product Development and a NASA Group Achievement Award for the Suomi NPP Mission Development Team. The satellite products he developed are among the most widely used by the scientific community and natural resource and agriculture stakeholders. He has published several high impact papers in journals such as Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Alfredo leads the Ecosystem Dynamics Health and Resilience research program within the Climate Change Cluster (C3), a UTS Key Research Strength. Alfredo’s main research interest is in using remote sensing to study and analyse vegetation health and functioning.