Invited Seminar at CES on 26 July 2023 at 3:00 pm titled " Are we missing the forest for trees?" by Dr. Sruthi Moorthy from Postdoctoral researcher, Ghent University, Belgium

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Are we missing the forest for trees?
Dr. Sruthi Moorthy, Postdoctoral researcher, Ghent University, Belgium
Date & Time: 
26 Jul 2023 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 
Invited Seminar
CES Seminar Hall, 3rd Floor, Biological Sciences Building
Before the talk

Tropical forests are currently undergoing large-scale structural changes, including an increase in liana abundance and biomass. As critical but frequently overlooked components of these forests, lianas can reduce tree growth and increase tree mortality, thus significantly influencing the declining pantropical carbon sink potential. Despite the increasing importance of lianas, quantitative studies on liana abundance and their impact on forest carbon stocks are almost non-existent. Recent advancements in terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) technologies have provided a new lens through which we can examine forest structures. These developments facilitate observation on an unprecedented scale and offer improved accuracy. As a result, we can now reliably measure liana structure and assess its impact on the structure and functionality of tropical forests. In this presentation, I will elaborate on how the utilization of TLS, in conjunction with other recent technological innovations in the remote sensing field, has enhanced our ability to understand lianas. Additionally, I will share the insights we have gained about the role lianas play in contributing to the already declining pantropical carbon sink potential.  

Speaker Bio: 
Currently, I am serving as a postdoctoral researcher with Ghent University in Belgium. I am soon set to transition to a Research Fellow role at Oxford University. My educational background includes a PhD in Bioscience Engineering from Ghent University, a Masters in Artificial Intelligence from KULeuven, Belgium, and a bachelor's in computer science from Anna University, Chennai. During PhD, my research focus has been on using terrestrial laser scanning to study lianas and their impact on tropical forest structure and functioning. In the period from February 2021 to December 2021, I held a postdoctoral research position at the University of Maryland, College Park. My work during this period revolved around utilizing GEDI lidar data to investigate the global effects of climate change on forest structure and biomass. I am passionate about forest ecosystems and understanding their responses to the evolving climate. Leveraging my background in computer science and remote sensing, I aim to employ advanced remote sensing technologies to address some of the still unsolved problems in ecology.