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RSPSoc Annual Lecture and Conversazione

Satellite remote sensing for conservation: opportunities & challenges

Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London

12th December 2016 @ 19:00

ACC, Liverpool

Followed by a drinks reception

Free entry to RSPSoc members


Abstract: Global environmental change is a growing threat to the Earth’s biological diversity, potentially leading to detrimental impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being, particularly for the world’s most marginalized and impoverished communities. Our ability to monitor the state of biodiversity and the impacts of global environmental change on our natural capital is fundamental to designing effective adaptation and mitigation strategies. This requires the scientific community to assess spatio-temporal changes in the distribution of abiotic conditions and in the distribution, structure, composition and functioning of ecosystems. The potential for satellite remote sensing (SRS) to provide key data has been highlighted by many researchers, with SRS offering repeatable, standardised and verifiable information on long-term trends in biodiversity indicators. SRS permits one to address questions on scales inaccessible to ground-based methods alone, facilitating the development of an integrated approach to natural resource management, where pressures to biodiversity, biodiversity state and consequences of management decisions can all be monitored. Here I will provide an interdisciplinary perspective on the prospects of SRS for conservation applications, reviewing established avenues but also highlighting new research and technological developments that have a high potential to make a difference in global change ecology and environmental management. I will also discuss current barriers to the ecological application of SRS-based approaches, and identify possible ways to overcome some of these limitations.


Nathalie Pettorelli is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London. Her research, grounded in applied ecology and conservation biology, focuses on deepening our understanding of the impacts of global environmental change, particularly climate change, on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Nathalie is currently chair of the Conservation Specialist Interest Group for the British Ecological Society. She is also Senior Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and Editor in Chief of Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.



British Ecological Society Annual Meeting 2016 Thematic Session

Europe's Earth observation Sentinels - new opportunities for ecology

12th December 2016 @ 15:15-17:15

ACC, Liverpool

Full details can be accessed here:

For conference registration, see

2011. Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society
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