Yunxia Wang

Yunxia Wang


Tropical forests have experienced wide-spread losses in the last few decades, resulting from large human disturbances, such as agriculture expansion, logging and fire. A significant proportion of previously deforested tropical areas is currently under some form of secondary re-growth. These secondary forests play an important role in biomass storage and in harbouring biodiversity. The ecosystem functions (e.g biomass storage) of secondary forests depend closely on their age/successional stage. However, there are currently no reliable large-scale datasets of tropical forest age. Therefore, this project will focus on the dynamics of tropical secondary forest, how important are these secondary forests in tropical biomass accumulation and how to automatically map tropical cumulative disturbed forests (secondary forest & degradation) from Space (satellite imagery). 


The objectives of this project are to explore the dynamics of secondary forests and historical degradation in the Brazilian Amazon tropics and how to map the secondary forests and degradation using remote sensing techniques. Also, this project will try to address questions of how important is forest regrowth in biomass balance of tropical forests and how important are secondary forests likely to be in the future biomass balance of tropical forests. 

Research Affiliations


  • School of Geography full fee scholarship & China Scholarship Council
  • Google Earth Engine Award (2016)


Wang, Y., Ziv, G., Adami, M., Mitchard, E., Batterman, S. A., Buermann, W., ... & Galbraith, D. (2019). Mapping tropical disturbed forests using multi-decadal 30 m optical satellite imagery. Remote sensing of environment221, 474-488.



Research interests

I am interested in land use/land cover changes, remote sensing approaches, forest disturbance mapping, Google Earth Engine(GEE) applications, etc.