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Robin Martin – Research scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science
In addition to her affiliation with the Carnegie Institute for Science, Dr. Martin has also worked on a variety of other projects including the biogeochemistry group at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA’s Large Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia, and conservation planning for the largest lowland forest reserve on Hawaii.Dr. Martin explores linking plant chemistry and remote sensing to study the functional geography of forests. She develops and manages the chemical analyses both in the Department of Global Ecology and the ‘mobile field lab’ in remote locations in forests around the world. Through the creation and analysis of chemical signatures of over 13,000 plant canopies, she has helped to make many discoveries about evolutionary, phylogenetic and environmental controls on plant biochemistry and physiological functioning in forests.
Biological diversity is under threat from human activities and a rapidly changing climate; however, we lack critically important information at spatial scales commensurate with much needed management and conservation action. On the one hand, we have vast inventories of biotic composition from spatially discontinuous field studies. On the other, spatially continuous satellite observations of land-cover provide only broad vegetation classes, such as forest, deserts, and agricultural lands. In this talk, I will explain how we are working to bridge this gap in the tropics by understanding linkages between the functional composition and spectral properties of forest canopies.