This year’s Dies Natalis focusses on Innovation for nature conservation. On March 11, Lammert Kooistra from the Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing will address the use of remote sensing and drones for ecological research. For this research, among others, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Laser Scanning (LiDAR UAV) is used, which is part of the Shared Research Facilities portfolio.
Lammert Kooistra currently uses drones to study the development of embryo dunes and their interaction with planted vegetation. These new dunes can serve as sand source to improve coastal protection. The drone images provide a 3D overview of the experimental area. Together with Juul Limpens, a plant ecologist of the chairgroup Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation, they have established a drone based monitoring approach to quantify the sand transport in the newly formed dunes. Also the influence of vegetation growth of - in this case - marram grass can be evaluated. The monitoring system is in place since May 2016, and with the recently granted project DuneForce this will be continued four more years.
The key note will be addressed by ecologist David Coomes from the University of Cambridge.
Besides Lammert Kooistra, the WUR researchers who will present their research at the Dies are Jasper Eikelboom, who uses remote sensing to map the spatial distribution of animals (e.g., Rhinos) in wildlife parks in Africa. And Brenda Walles, from Wageningen Marine Research, who will explain how to use artificial oyster beds in Zeeland as a seawall.