My fascination for extreme environments took me from studying one of the warmest and wettest regions on earth (western Amazonia) to the coldest and driest continent: Antarctica. In my PhD I aim to map the highly understudied vegetation of the 1% of Antarctica that is ice-free during summer. These areas are mainly occupied by mosses and lichens, and because of the environment’s inaccessibility I will use remote sensing data from satellite images to scale my field observations to the entire Antarctic Peninsula. Therefore, I will measure the light reflection spectra of the most dominant species and try to link their spectral differences to functional traits. Identifying species or trait specific reflection spectra will allow us to remotely sense the abundance and functional diversity of Antarctic vegetation, which is key to estimating the continent’s terrestrial biodiversity.
Bush, M. B., Nascimento, M. N., Åkesson, C. M., Cárdenes-Sandí, G. M., Maezumi, S. Y., Behling, H., Correa-Metrio, A., Church, W., Huisman, S.N., … McMichael, C. N. H. (2021). Widespread reforestation before European influence on Amazonia. Science, 372(6541), 484-487.
Åkesson, C. M., McMichael, C. N., Raczka, M. F., Huisman, S. N., Palmeira, M., Vogel, J., … & Bush, M. B. (2021). Long‐term ecological legacies in western Amazonia. Journal of Ecology, 109(1), 432-446.
Huisman, S. N., Bush, M. B., & McMichael, C. N. (2019). Four centuries of vegetation change in the mid-elevation Andean forests of Ecuador. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 28(6), 679-689.
Huisman, S. N., Raczka, M. F., & McMichael, C. N. (2018). Palm phytoliths of mid-elevation Andean forests. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6, 193.