The aim of the Global LAI project is to assess climate and disturbance dependencies of tropical vegetation canopies in a consistent and comparable manner. This project fills a massive data gap for tropical ecosystems (Pfeifer et al. 2012 Rem Sens Env 118) which limits our ability to model climate-vegetation feedbacks and validate outputs of ecosystem process models. We have been expanding our database efforts from East Africa to other geographic regions since 2014. The expanded Global LAI community includes:



Prof Luis Cayuela, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain.  Luis has been measuring forest canopy structure in Ecuador’s Podocarpus National Park as well as forests in Peru. Contact:

Dr Alicia Ledo, University of Aberdeen, UK. Alicia measured canopy structure in Peruvian cloud forests. Contact:

Mr Jose Gonzalez de Tanago Meaca, University of Wageningen, Netherlands. Jose has measured in forests of Gabon, Peru, Indonesia and Guyana plots. These plots were also measured for 3D terrestrial vegetation structure (pre and post selective logging harvesting). Contact:

Dr Manuel J. Macía, Departamento de Biología (Botánica), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. Manolo has been on the road with Luis to measure in Ecuador’s forests. Contact: Dr Gabriel Arellano was going with both Manolo and Luis. Contact:

Dr Timothy Paine, Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Stirling, UK. Tim measured canopy structure in the moist floodplain forests of Peru’s Manu National Park. Contact:

Mr Alvaro Lau Sarmiento, University of Wageningen, Netherlands. Alvaro measured canopy structure (pre- and post-harvesting) in forests in Indonesia and Guyana. Contact:

South East Asia:

Dr Robert Ewers, Head of Forest Ecology and Conservation Group, Imperial College London, UK. Data: Rob oversees biophysical structure assessments at the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems Project in Malaysian Borneo.

Mr Robin Hayward, University of York. Robin has measured canopy structure in Indonesia. Contact:

Mrs Beatrice Wedeux, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK. Beatrice measured canopy structure in tropical peat swamp forests of Kalimantan. Contact: or



Mr Andrew Burt, University College London, UK. Andrew collected canopy structure data as well as 3D laser scan data in the Gabon plots, working with both Jose and Kim. Contact:

Dr Kim Calders, National Physcial Laboratory, University Colllege London, UK (during the research he was based at Wageningen University). Kim has measured in Gabon’s forests in plots also measured for 3D terrestrial vegetation structure. Contact:

Mr Nicolas Deere, University of Kent, UK. Nick has been training WWF Tanzania REDD+ staff in the country and collected canopy structure data in several woodlands. Contact:

Mr Dereje Denu, Jimma University College, Ethiopia. Dereje has been trained by Marion and Phil (the project leaders) and has measured in the Ethiopian highlands near Jimma. This project was funded by ICIPE CHIESA (Finland). Contact:

Dr Alemu Gonsamo, University of Toronto, Canada. Alemu has developed the standardised sampling protocol with Marion, and also measured canopy structure at Kasigau, Kenya. Contact:

Dr Rob Marchant, Environment Department, University of York, UK. Rob measured in several locations across East Africa, at times alongside Marion and/or Phil. He is Co-I at both WWF TZ REDD+ and ICIPE CHIESA and funded several of the campaigns in East Africa in exchange for in-country capacity training of assistants and staff. Contact:

Mr Hamidu Seki and Prof Munishi, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. Prof Munishi is Co-I on WWF Tanzania REDD+. He has been measuring canopy structure of Miombo woodlands and bushland in various regions of Tanzania. His student Hamidu got trained by KITE LAI. Contact:;

Dr Pieter Olivier, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. Pieter and Marion have been measuring the canopy structure of fragmented coastal forests in South Africa, which are part of Pieter’s bird diversity monitoring program. This fieldwork was funded by the British Ecological Society (‘Ecologists in Africa’ programme).

Prof Petri Pellikka, Department of Geography, University of Helsinki, Finland. Petri is Co-I on ICIPE CHIESA. His research focus is on Kenya’s Taita Hills, where he measured canopy structure along transects across the degradation landscape. Contact:

Mr Deo Shirima, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway & Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. Data: Deo has measured canopies in the Miombo woodlands and evergreen forests of Hanan Forest Reserve and surroundings in Tanzania. This project was funded by WWF TZ REDD+ (Norway). Contact:

Charlotte Wheeler, Department of Geography, University College London, UK. Charlotte has been measuring canopy structure in forests located in Borneo and Uganda. Contact:




Dr Rebecca Trevithick, Queensland Government, Australia. Rebecca oversees parts of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network that beside many other measures includes canopy structure measurements from Eucalyptus forests and rainforests in Australia. Contact:

Mr William Woodgate, RMIT University, Melbourne Area, Australia. William measured several forests in Queensland tropical montane forests. Contact:



Currently / Soon measuring the field:

Mrs Emma Bush, University of Stirling. Emma is measuring canopy structure in Gabon. Contact:




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