MSc thesis topics: Mapping the carbon sink potential of Peru’s natural forests

Currently, new and expanding databases have improved the amount of data on carbon dynamics in natural forests at different successional stages or under forest management practices in the Amazon. At the same time, remotely-sensed products on land or forest cover change are becoming available at higher spatial and temporal resolutions, both at global and national scales.
As countries move forward in establishing standing biomass baselines for climate change mitigation schemes, one question arises: can we also confidently estimate the potential of natural forest carbon sinks at a national scale?

This topic will aim to map natural forests at different successional stages or under management practices using available remote sensing (RS) products and combine them with plot-level measurements on biomass change to estimate the carbon sink  potential of Peru’s natural forests.


  • Classify Peru’s natural forests based on their successional stage and/or degree of human intervention using available RS products.
  • Make use of available field data on biomass change in forests to estimate carbon sequestration potential per forest type.


  • Poorter et al. (2016). Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests. Nature 530, 211-214.
  • Brienen et al. (2015). Long-term decline of the Amazon carbon sink. Nature 519, 344-348
  • Potapov et al. (2014). National satellite-based humid tropical forest change assessment in Peru in support of REDD+ implementation. Environmental Research Letters 9, 124012


  • GIS software knowledge (no specific courses are required)
  • Preference for students who are willing and able to work with R

Theme(s): Integrated Land Monitoring