EU-funded postdoc Cici Alexander completed her 2 year position with Ross Hill and Amanda Korstjens in September 2017. In this time she analysed LiDAR and UAV imaging data to identify trees and forest structural characteristics for the tropical forests that LEAP works at in Indonesia. The newest paper is hot off the press while another paper is in review. In the new paper, Cici shows a method of using drone-mounted cameras to measure and identify tree structures and variation to locate emergent trees at LEAP’s main field site Sikundur, Sumatra, Indonesia. Emergent trees are important for primate sleep sites and serve many other essential roles in tropical forests, but they are also the most vulnerable trees to selective logging.
The work is done in collaboration with our charity partners (Matt Nowak, Graham Usher) at Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, and Serge Wich from Liverpool John Moores University as well as Dr Abdullah from our international partner Universitas Syiah Kuala. Authors also include ISLHE-LEAP PhD student Emma Hankinson and LEAP MRes student Nathan Harris who were vital in verifying the method on the ground.
Alexander et al. LEAP paper
(Special limited duration paper access link: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1XAhj14ynSEdoi).
Her first two papers were technical notes on:
‘Influence of micro-topography and crown characteristics on tree height estimations in tropical forests based on LiDAR canopy height models‘ 2018
‘Structural attributes of individual trees for identifying homogeneous patches in a tropical rainforest‘ 2017
Based on LiDAR data from Batang Toru, Sumatra, Indonesia where the newly identified and highly threatened Tapanuli orangutans occur and a planned dam is threatening the ecosystem.
For more information on the ‘LEAP: Landscape Ecology and Primatology’ research group, visit our website or like our facebook page. Our work featured also in the BU2012-2018 review (p17).
Updates on our international research project LEAP (landscape ecology and primatology), led by Amanda Korstjens and Ross Hill and that falls at BU under the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences and the ISLHE (see my previous blog for more info).
Thanks to a UG Research Assistant in the BU URAP programme, we now have a fabulous website to show off the research of LEAP. Media student Matthew Hammond even created a lovely logo for us. The website is now publicly accessible here: http://go-leap.wix.com/home.
Secondly, funding has been obtained for Gaius Wilson’s (an Indian postdoc) Sumatran elephant research. We received an International Elephant Foundation grant of over $55000 and £5000 from Rufford Small Grants. This is an expensive project so we cannot not leave it at that yet but it is great that our hard work on these funding applications this summer paid off.
I also want to highlight that this was supported by the training I received through the Grants Academy and the EUADS grants scheme as BU and 1:1 help from Martin Pickard and Chris. Gaius attended a 2-day workshop for EU Marie S Curie fellowship applications in March at BU and that started the elephant project off (including a submission for such a fellowship of course). Kerri and Alice from RKEO have been great in getting us through our summer of applications, thank you! There are more submissions to come.
Please visit our website and contact Amanda Korstjens or Ross Hill if you are interested in collaborating on any of our projects. We will need MRes students or other people in the field to help with data collection on Human-elephant co-existence (or conflict) and our various other research projects in Indonesia and Uganda. Any field project requires a minimum of 6 months in the field.
LEAP team BU Oct 2015