My current research involves using hyperspectral imagery from satellites and ground scans to examine changes in the leaf moisture. Less moisture in the leaves means they are more likely to be ignited by a fire, and vice versa, if leaves have more water content, they are less likely to burn. My research focuses on Australian eucalypt forests and in the detection of small changes in water content using the spectral reflectance of leaves and their biochemical components.
Why is this important? Monitoring changes in leaf moisture is important because if we can create better predictions of fire spread, intensity, and severity, we can save lives, properties, and livelihoods.
I'm also interested in using satellite images to monitor wetlands. Mangroves, for example, are some of the most carbon-rich ecosystems in the world and provide many goods and services to coastal communities. I'm especially interested in mangrove phenology and how it has changed over the past few decades.