Meet the MGEM Faculty

Dr Nicholas Coops

Associate Dean, Research Innovation
Canada Research Chair in remote Sensing (I)

My main research focus is the use of remote sensing technology to assess forest resources, both for conservation and production applications. I am specifically interested in advanced forest inventory techniques using high spatial resolution optical remote sensing imagery and LIDAR, use of remote sensing for ecosystem and carbon accumulation modeling for biodiversity, production and greenhouse calculations, and detection of damaging agents in forests using spectral forest condition mapping.

In MGEM I am one of the faculty mentors, and teach introductory and advanced remote sensing courses.

Some papers you may find interesting which I have been working on with my research lab include:

Tompalski, P., Coops N.C., White, J.C., Wulder, M.A. (2015). Augmenting Site Index Estimation with Airborne Laser Scanning Data Forest Science (60) dx.doi.org/10.5849/forsci.14-175

Coops, N.C., Fontana, F., Wulder, M.A (2014). Monitoring National-Scale Indirect Indicators of Biodiversity Using a Long Time-Series of Remotely Sensed Imagery Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing 41(3)1 – 14

Coops NC, Nilker T, Hall FG, Nichol CJ, Drolet GG (2011). Estimation of Light-use Efficiency of Terrestrial Ecosystem from Space: A Status Report Bioscience 60(10):788-797


Nicholas Coops

Dr Bianca Eskelson

Assistant Professor

Research focus areas:

  • Estimation of disturbance effects
  • Recovery dynamics after disturbance
  • Spatial copula models
  • Nearest neighbor imputation

Dr Sarah Gergel

Assistant Dean, Equity and Inclusion

Research focus areas:

  • Mapping and Quantifying Ecosystem Services
  • Social-ecological Landscapes and Resilience
  • Historical Dynamics of Large River-floodplains
  • Mapping & Monitoring with First Nations
  • High Resolution Image Analysis (satellite imagery and historical aerial photographs)

Sarah Gergel

Dr Shannon Hagerman

Assistant Professor of Social-Ecological Systems

My research focuses on behavioral, institutional and policy dimensions inherent to understanding and responding to environmental dilemmas in rapidly evolving social-ecological systems (SES). Specific interests include: the role of environmental values in shaping perceptions of risk and policy preferences for emerging and contentious options in biodiversity conservation and natural resources management (e.g. assisted migration, novel ecosystems, and rewilding); the politics and production of knowledge at key zones of conservation engagement and policy making (e.g. the Convention on Biological Diversity); and 3) dynamics and drivers of resource use in social-ecological systems.

Methodologically, my work combines a range of social-science research methods including interviews, expert elicitation, collaborative event ethnography, document analysis and web-based surveys.

As a faculty mentor in MGEM, I will work in concert with geomatics focused mentors to provide students with: i) analytical grounding and advising about the social, political and historical context within which social-ecological-systems are inextricably embedded; ii) exposure to additional (non-geospatial) social science research methodologies, and iii) general advising and principles for robust research proposal design.

Some papers from recent projects are included below:

Hagerman, S., Witter, R., Corson, C., Suarez, D., Maclin, E.M., Bourque, M., Campbell, L., 2012. On the coattails of climate? Opportunities and threats of a warming Earth for biodiversity conservation. Glob. Environ. Chang. 22, 724–735. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.05.006

Hagerman, S.M., Satterfield, T., 2014. Agreed but not preferred: Expert views on taboo options for biodiversity conservation, given climate change. Ecol. Appl. 24, 548–559. doi:10.1890/13-0400.

Campbell, L., Hagerman, S., Gray, N., 2014. Producing targets for conservation: Science and politics at the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Glob. Environ. Polit. 14, 41–63.

Dr Trevor Jones

Lecturer; Coordinator: MGEM Program

My research employs remotely sensed data and field measurements to map and describe the distribution, composition, structure and dynamics of forests. In Canada, these efforts have supported the management of forested ecosystems and enhanced further research possibilities within the National Park system. I’ve also researched total (above- and below-ground) carbon stocks and both natural and anthropogenic loss within mangrove ecosystems. In coastal Madagascar, this work supports conservation initiatives aiming to improve long-term livelihoods, safeguard biodiversity and help mitigate climate change through mangrove conservation, restoration and managed-use.

In MGEM I teach several core courses (GEM 530, GEM 580, GEM 599) and further serve as an overall program coordinator.

Recent publications include:

  • Jones et al., 2016. Madagascar’s mangroves: Quantifying nation-wide and ecosystem specific dynamics, and detailed contemporary mapping of distinct ecosystems. Remote Sensing, 8, 106.
  • Joneset al., 2016.  The mangroves of Ambanja and Ambaro Bays, northwest Madagascar: Historical dynamics, current status and deforestation mitigation strategy. In Estuaries: A lifeline of ecosystem services in the Western Indian Ocean. Diop, S., Scheren, P., Eds.; Springer International Publishing.
  • Gardner et al., 2016. Rapid assessments and local knowledge reveal high bird diversity in mangroves of north-west Madagascar. Wetlands Ecology and Management, DOI: 10.1007/s11273-016-9501-3.

Trevor Jones

Dr Michael Meitner

Associate Professor

Research focus areas:

  • Public perception based assessment of aesthetic resources
  • Structured decision making and non-market valuation techniques
  • Environmental visualization and geographic information systems
  • Sustainability planning and public engagement

Michael Meitner

Dr Jeanine Rhemtulla

Assistant Professor

Research focus areas:

  • Landscape ecology & spatial analysis
  • Historical ecology, especially reconstructing and assessing land-use legacies
  • Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services
  • Trade-offs between conservation & poverty alleviation
  • Temperate and tropical forest and agroforestry systems

Jeanine Rhemtulla