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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2016  /  April 2016  /  Kim Calders awarded Robert May Prize

Kim Calders awarded Robert May Prize

British Ecological Society accolade for the year’s best paper

Kim Calders awarded Robert May Prize

Dr. Kim Calders, of the UCL Geography Earth Observation (EO) Group, has won the prestigious British Ecological Society Robert May Prize for early career researchers. The prize is awarded annually to the best paper submitted to the Society’s journal, Methods in Ecology and Evolution (MEE), by an author at the start of their research career.

Kim was awarded the prize for his paper, "Nondestructive estimates of above-ground biomass using terrestrial laser scanning". A collaboration with UCL Geography's Mat Disney and Andy Burt, with colleagues from Wageningen, Finland and Australia, this shows how terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) offers a new and very accurate way of estimating the amount of carbon stored in forests. The method potentially helps to address a key uncertainty in understanding forest-climate feedbacks.

Kim's paper received considerable attention when published, and featured on the UCL News front page (see It has already been cited 30 times, an early indication of its wide impact.

Kim continues to develop his pioneering laser scanning forest measurement work in the department with Mat, and in partnership with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) where he is co-hosted. He is currently generating very detailed 3D measurements and models of a historic woodland site in the UK to develop and test new satellite observation methods for estimating forest properties. His paper has earned him £250 and a year's membership of the British Ecological Society.

For Kim’s paper, see:

Robert May Prize:


Kim Calders