I am interested in understanding how humans are altering the structure and functioning of ecosystems at large spatial scales. To this end, I use satellite remote sensing data to map both human impacts and ecosystem responses, focusing in particular on disturbance dynamics and vegetation structure. I am also interested in making remote sensing approaches more useful and accessible for ecologists and conservation scientists.
My PhD project aims to predict the effects of combined climate change and land use change on biodiversity. Climate change and land use change are both continuing apace in the 21st century, affecting biodiversity at a global scale. However, ecologists still struggle to understand the interactions between these complex global change drivers.
My study area is the W-Arly-Pendjari complex, a transboundary protected area and biodiversity hotspot in West Africa. It is undergoing rapid land use change in the form of cropland expansion and shifting of pastoralist routes, whilst the wider region – the Sahel – has experienced significant climate variability in the last decades and is expected to experience rapid climate change in the future. This site therefore offers the opportunity to understand the interplay between climate change – especially with regards to rainfall – and land use change.
I am combining ground truth and open-source remote sensing data to quantify the effects of climate change-land use change interactions on the structure, functioning and disturbance regime of this important ecosystem.
Schulte to Bühne, H., Pettorelli, N. Better together: Integrating and fusing multispectral and radar satellite imagery to inform biodiversity monitoring, ecological research and conservation science. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2018 9(4): 849-865. doi: abs/10.1111/2041-210X.12942.
Pettorelli, N., Schulte to Bühne, H., Shapiro, A.C., Glover-Kapfer. Satellite remote sensing for conservation. WWF Conservation Technology Series 2018 1(4).
Marshall, A., Schulte to Bühne, H., Bland, L., Pettorelli, N. Assessing ecosystem collapse risk in ecosystems dominated by foundation species: The case of fringe mangroves. Ecological Indicators 2018 91:128-137. doi:org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.03.076.
Pettorelli, N., Schulte to Bühne, H., Tulloch, A., Dubois, G., Macinnis‐Ng, C., Queirós, A.M., Keith, D.A., Wegmann, M., Schrodt, F., Stellmes, M., Sonnenschein, R. Satellite remote sensing of ecosystem functions: opportunities, challenges and way forward. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 2018 4(2), 71-93. doi: full/10.1002/rse2.59.
Pettorelli, N., Barlow, J., Stephens, P.A., Durant, S.M., Connor, B., Schulte to Bühne, H., Sandom, C.J., Wentworth, J., du Toit, J.T. Making rewilding fit for policy. Journal of Applied Ecology 2018 55(3):1114-1125. doi: abs/10.1111/1365-2664.13082.
Schulte to Bühne, H., Wegmann, M., Durant, S.M., Ransom, C., Ornellas, P., Grange, S., Beatty, H., Pettorelli, N. Protection status and national socio‐economic context shape land conversion in and around a key transboundary protected area complex in West Africa. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 2017 3(4): 190-201. doi: full/10.1002/rse2.47.