Seasonally dry tropical forests face critical challenges of conservation, unsustainable use, local poverty and migration to urban areas. Our overall aim is to develop novel technology for assessing biodiversity and ecosystem quality to inform landuse policy. With leadership from St Andrews, this project integrates novel imaging systems from RAL-Space and field sampling methods from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to address dry forest conservation concerns identified by Brazilian collaborators at the Universidade Federal do Ceará, emphasiszng desertification.
Stakeholder Engagement – Meetings have been held with the State of Ceará Secretary of the Environment (Imprensa – Secretaria do Meio Ambiente, ICMBio (Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation, IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, and FUNCEME (Fundação Cearense de Meteorologia e Recursos Hídricos).
Capacity Building – The project has engaged with multiple postdocs and postgraduates: Brazil – Dr Moabe Fernandes, Dr Vivian Amorim, Dr Alexandre de Paula, Universidade Federal do Ceará; Dr Aline Stadnick, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana; Luisa Lucretia (MSc), Universidade de São Paulo; UK – Dr Melina Zimplia, RAL-Space, Dr Michelle Hamilton, RAL-Space; Dr Barnaby Walker, RBG Kew; Zeren Yang (PhD), University of St Andrews; Hannah O’Sullivan (PhD), Imperial College.