Research groups

PLANTGREEN — Martin Hermy

PlantGREEN — Martin Hermy Plants, Nature & urban Green - has widened its research focus from historical ecological research in deciduous forests (impact of former land use, ancient forest plant species, biodiversity) to a broad range of research topics, such as dispersal of plant species and seed banks of various habitats. More recently the focus further shifted to urban green, in particular green roofs, vertical green, the use of perennial plant species in urban green. Through research, teaching and advice we seek to support forest and nature conservation and to stimulate the application of urban green in order to improve the living environment of people.

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FORECOMAN — Bart Muys

FORECOMAN — Bart Muys

The Forest Ecology and Management (FORECOMAN) research group of KU Leuven aims at contributing with academic research and teaching to a harmonious relationship of humans with forest ecosystems, through their conservation, restoration and sustainable management. Our work is explicitly interdisciplinary and recognizes the complexity of social-ecological systems. Current research topics include biodiversity - ecosystem service relationships in forests, climate mitigation potential of forests and bioenergy systems, and dryland forest restoration ecology.

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RESECO — Ben Somers

RESECO — Ben Somers

The research group Remote Sensing & Terrestrial Ecology focusses on studying the role, vitality and stability of plant species and their communities in (sub)urban and semi-natural environments. The most recent developments in remote sensing technology are exploited to quantify vegetation structure and functioning at various temporal and spatial scales. Through integration of remote sensing, GIS and in situ observations in spatial explicit modeling routines we explore how, and to what extent, different plant species and/or plant assemblages contribute to ecosystem services. Central in our approach is the concept of “nature-based solutions” which refers to the use, conservation or restoration of nature in tackling today’s environmental challenges such as climate change, environmental pollution, food security, water resources management, natural disaster risk management, etc. As such we want to support the use of vegetation/green infrastructure in the design, organization, management and spatial planning of urbanized regions, thereby improving the quality of life of its inhabitants.

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LANDINFORMAN— Jos Van Orshoven

LandInforMan — Jos Van Orshoven

Background

' Where?' and ' When?' are preoccupations of all times. With adequate knowledge of locations, characteristics of these locations, their mutual relationships and dynamics we make progress in reconstructing and understanding natural processes and human interventions and in assessing and forecasting their impacts in space and time. Developments of the Geographic Information Science and Technologies (GIS&T) lead to new challenges for these universal 'Where?' and 'When?' questions. One is the removal of limitations on geo-data availability. The optimisation of decisions to meet several objectives simultaneously based on geo-information is a second one. Both are -worldwide- extremely relevant for land and water management.

Research themes

In our multidisciplinary group, researchers are active in three thematic domains. They prepare PhD or MSc-manuscripts or perform postdoctoral or contract-based research:

  • Conversion of geodata
    Conversion of geographical data, acquired by a.o. earth remote sensing, proximal and in situ sensing, into spatio-temporal information about land, land use and land management; Methodological developments and innovative applications of quantitative land inventory and land evaluation;

  • Concepts and components of geo-data infrastructures
    Standards and interoperability, data models, databases, metadata for the 2D-, 2D+time, 3D- and 3D+time spaces;
  • Decision support systems
    Concepts and systems for spatially explicit decision support in the presence of uncertainty: spatial and spatio-temporal multi-criteria decision making methods with on-site and off-site criteria
SADL
The LandInforMan-group is an active participant in the Spatial Applications Division Leuven. The mission of SADL is to transfer academic research results related to the Geographic Information Science and Technologies into operational applications.

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