As a lead on the Belgian Science Policy Office funded “Congo basin eco-climatological data recovery and valorisation (COBECORE, contract BR/175/A3/COBECORE, 584K EURO)” project I aim to bring together an interdisciplinary network of partners with the objective to establish baseline measurements necessary in long-term (retrospective) ecological and climatological research by valorising unexplored historical data.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action “Congo Basin Drought resilience: an Integrative Modelling approach” (COBADIM, H2020 grant 797668) will combine eco-physiological and dendrochronological research with a model based approach to increase our understanding of the response of African tropical tree species under changing climatological conditions across the central Congo Basin (173K EURO).
The Jungle Rhythms project successfully transcribe hand-drawn observations of the life cycle events of more than 2,000 trees (of more than 500 different species!) between 1937 and 1958 in the tropical rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Long-term observations of tropical trees are rare. The Jungle Rhythms observations comprise three decades of data on the central African tropical forest, and are therefore an extraordinary source of information on the life cycles of tropical trees. Recovered data is visualized on the project website. This project ran on a budget of $100, my personal time and the help of 6000 dedicated volunteers on the Zooniverse citizen science platform.
Wood cellulose extraction
A crucial step in the stable isotope analysis (a part of for example COBADIM) involves a cellulose extraction. I provide a short rational to why you would want to use cellulose rather than bulk wood, and describe how to create a cellulose extraction line on a limited budget (using open schematics).
Given the lack of a cheap alternative to ‘real’ PhenoCams I decided to design a citizen science PhenoCam. The design is based upon a raspberry pi. This project is currently being revived with the help of the Arribada initiative, leveraging previous work by Alasdair Davies within the context of biodiversity monitoring, trying to combine both research goals.