PhD student wins prize for ecology conference talk

A PhD student in the School of Mathematics and Statistics was awarded a prize at the Joint Meeting of the Society for Tropical Ecology and the British Ecological Society.

Matt HethcoatMatt Hethcoat won one of three awards for best oral presentation for his talk, 'A machine learning approach to map tropical selective logging in Landsat imagery', at the conference in Edinburgh.

For his PhD, Matt is using satellite data to measure tropical forest degradation and its consequences, and working with co-supervisors Dr David Edwards in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences and Dr Robert Bryant in the Department of Geography.

His lead supervisor in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Shaun Quegan, was last year awarded the Natural Environment Research Council’s (NERC) Economic Impact Award for his work on the European Space Agency’s BIOMASS mission.

The BIOMASS satellite, currently under construction in the UK, will create 3D maps of the world's forests to help researchers monitor the impacts of climate change.

Matt is also one of the University of Sheffield's Grantham Scholars, a team of interdisciplinary PhD students brought together by the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures to focus on sustainability issues.

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