Miss Eleanor Thomson

NERC DTP Candidate in Environmental Research

Eleanor completed her BA in Geography at Keble College, Oxford in 2013. In 2015, she transferred to Oriel for her MSc in Environmental Change and Management.

Between her undergraduate and postgraduate study, Eleanor taught English as a foreign language in Austria and Germany for two years. After completing her MSc, she worked as a Research Scholar at Northern Arizona University (USA), researching the application of remote sensing to tropical forest ecology. She was funded by the Google Earth Engine.

Research interests

Eleanor’s research interests include:

  • Ecosystem-climate interactions
  • Tropical forests
  • Remote sensing

Eleanor’s DPhil seeks to find new methods to remotely sense the health and functioning of tropical forests. Currently, tropical forests absorb around 18% of human carbon emissions and harbour over 50% of global biodiversity. Yet their future is under threat from a combination of climate change and deforestation. Due to their vast extent, high diversity and impenetrability, tropical forests are one of the most understudied of Earth’s biomes. Particularly unknown is whether tropical forests will continue to act as a sink of human CO2 emissions, or may switch to becoming a source of carbon dioxide instead, acting as a positive feedback mechanism to climate change. Eleanor’s DPhil uses UAVs (drones) and satellites to find new and improved methods for remotely monitoring and mapping tropical forest carbon absorption, tree growth and mortality.