Dr Murray Collins studies forests. From gruelling fieldwork measuring thousands of trees, to using the latest satellite technology to monitor deforestation across the globe and presenting to national governments on forest law and policy, Murray is an expert on forests and deforestation. Murray will explain the role of forests as stores of incredible biodiversity, and providers of ‘ecosystem services’ such as climate regulation. He’ll then look at how the world’s forests have changed over time. And he’ll share with us the state of the art forest monitoring techniques he and colleagues are developing using satellite radar data at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh. Murray won the Wellcome Trust’s I’m a Scientist science communication competition in 2011, and is the Environmental Scientist in Residence at the RZSS 2015-2016, so we’re honoured to have him here to talk to us.
Dr Murray Collins has undertaken biodiversity surveys in the swamps and forests of Indonesia; measured thousands of trees as a forester in central Africa; and worked as an economist on the UK’s National Ecosystem Assessment, revealing to policy makers the importance of forests and greenspace to UK society. He also worked with an international legislators’ organisation to analyse forest law and policy around the world, presenting findings and recommendations to governments of 66 nations gathered at the World Bank in 2014. He has also appeared as a talking head on National Geographic television discussing the search for a new species of rainforest primate. Murray is now at the School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh working on the SAREDD project, where he and Dr Edward Mitchard are designing an automated system to harness data from European Space Agency satellites and monitor deforestation across the globe. This work has been presented the European Space Agency and Japanese Space Agency, along with Universities in Indonesia on the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for forest monitoring. He has a BSc from UCL and the Sorbonne (Paris V), MSc with Distinction from Imperial College London, and an interdisciplinary PhD from the London School of Economics and Institute of Zoology, ZSL.
This talk will be aimed at non-experts. But if you’d like to delve into some of the more detailed research, you can follow the links below to some of Murray’s recent work.
The use of SAR for deforestation monitoring
Murray’s work with legislators
See Murray in action in this short documentary about exploring the rainforest
Arrival: Please arrive via the members’ gate at 7pm. You will be directed to the Education centre from there. The talk will begin at 7.20pm.
Refreshments: refreshments will be available to purchase on arrival.