The QMEE CDT Project proposal database

Welcome to the QMEE CDT Project proposal database. This is a live list of projects proposals put forward by PIs across the CDT partner institutions

PIs/Supervisors will continue to add projects to this list over the next few months, so do keep checking back! You can search the projects using the box below: simply enter some text and press Search to do a text search across all the database fields. If you want to search more finely, the search tool also allows you to search on particular details of the project descriptions: you will see these finer search options appear if you click on the search box.

Click on the view button next to a project to get the full proposal description. If you want to download project details, either for all projects, or for a subset you have searched for, then click on the 'Download details' button.

To find a particular PI's email or look up other PI details, use the menu at the top of this page (PIs tab).

Simulating the coupled water/carbon cycles of degraded tropical ecosystems
Tropical forests are among the largest and most dynamic carbon stocks in the world. Their potential to act as carbon dioxide sinks can mitigate anthropogenic CO2 emissions and help toward the achievement of the 2 degree C temperature increase goal set by the Paris agreement of the United Nations. Currently almost half of all standing tropical forests have been logged fragmented or are otherwise degraded by human actions. Forest restoration has potential to simultaneously protect and improve on the already high conservation value of logged forests, rapidly inject economic value into otherwise economically sterile degraded forests, and to promote the sequestration of atmospheric carbon, which will be the focus of the current project. To understand and predict the skill of tropical forest to sequester carbon, detailed models that capture simultaneously the carbon, water, nutrient cycles and post disturbance forest dynamics are needed. Specifically, we will implement the latest developments in forest demography models within the Tethys-Chloris Terrestrial Ecosystem model, a coupled land surface and terrestrial vegetation model. The model has a detailed, physically based description of the energy balance and the water, carbon and nutrient cycles and has been explicitly tuned to properly capture tropical forest phenology. In this project we will expand the model by integrating forest demography and the variability due to plant traits within ecosystems with high biodiversity, with the goal to properly capture post-disturbance dynamics. The model will be validated at the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems (SAFE) Project located in Sabah, Malaysia, where Prof Ewers holds time series data from >200 forest plots located across a gradient of historical logging intensity and present-day successional status. Species traits distributions were measured onsite for the 135 most common genera. The model will be validated for its ability to accurately reproduce water and carbon fluxes, as well as forest structure and carbon stocks. Carbon (Net ecosystem exchange) and water (evapotranspiration) flux data to validate the model are measured using an eddy covariance system at the flux tower based onsite. Carbon stocks are estimated by regular surveys of the forest plots and larger scale distributions of tree sizes will be derived by the LIDAR surveys conducted previously on the site.
Athanasios Paschalis
Rob Ewers
Computing, Quantitative data analysis, Ecological observations / data collection
Athanasios Paschalis
The project's quantitative skills include (a) numerical model development (including numerical solutions of ordinary and partial differential equations) and (b) advanced statistical techniques (data analysis)
The project will develop an explicit forest demography component for a terrestrial ecosystem model. The model will be among the first to quantitatively describe post disturbance forest dynamics
The ecological theory that will be addressed is the forest tree community composition after major human interventions leading to large scale disturbances. A model will be built for the description of such dynamics, and their impact on water/carbon/nutrient cycles
The real world application of the project relates to the quantitative description of ecosystem dynamics after major disturbances. Applications include ecosystem restoration. This project will focus on tropical ecosystem restoration (SAFE site - Malaysia), but the computational framework can be generalised worldwide
The project will provide novel computational tools for the quantitative description of post disturbance ecosystem dynamics. Such tools can be directly linked to global scale climate models, that can quantify the impacts of human impact on the global carbon cycle and thus climate change
This project integrates field ecology (tree demography) with biogeochemistry (carbon cycle) and hydro-meteorology (water fluxes) and advances computational modelling. Project outputs have applied relevance to forest management, climate modelling and restoration ecology.
Climate and climate change, Ecosystem-scale processes and land use
A. Paschalis (Civil & Environmental Engineering) will be in charge of training the student in computational skills including statistical data analysis, and numerical modelling. R. Ewers (Life Sciences) will train the student for field work skills, and data collection, handling and management.
Imperial College London, SAFE Project site in Malaysia
2019-05-31 16:26:44