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Sarah Gergel


Forest & Conservation Sciences

Faculty of Forestry

I lead a team of researchers who work on spatial ecology, resilience and ecosystem services, with an emphasis on developing novel yet rigorous geomatics approaches to understanding pressing environmental problems. My current projects explore a diverse range of ecosystem types, from forests to rivers and grasslands and coral reefs, comparing and contrasting remote sensing and local ecological knowledge (LEK). My current NSERC Discovery Grant research examines longterm dynamics of ecosystem services incorporating historical mapping approaches (such as aerial photography and land surveys). As part of the NSERC Strategic Network CNAES (the Canadian Network for Aquatic Ecosystem Services) my team is using participatory mapping in conjunction with local communities and resource managers to locate hotspots of ecosystem service conflicts. My current international collaborations with several CGIAR institutions as well as the Wildlife Institute of India examine how ecosystem services, poverty, and livelihoods and are impacted by the configuration of key forest patches within agricultural mosaics. These diverse projects on several continents have yielded excited new insights on the value of using complementary approaches to science and provide much-needed advice on the strengths and weakness of geomatics and LEK.