Publication Details

Title: Sandra Brown (1944–2017): A Distinguished Tropical Ecologist

Author(s): Ariel Lugo; [External Site: Opens in New Window] Grizelle González. [External Site: Opens in New Window]

Year: 2017

Source: Forests

Abstract: We dedicate this Special Issue commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service—International Institute of Tropical Forestry to the late Dr. Sandra Brown. Sandra Brown was a superb analytical scientist. Her notable contributions to the understanding of the global carbon cycle include the synthesis of ecological data from the tropics and the realization that those data were biased towards high biomass values. Her analysis of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) inventory data for the tropics led to a new biomass estimate for tropical forest that was considerably smaller than those used in global models that could not balance the carbon cycle. Dr. Brown also developed methods for estimating tropical forest biomass from inventory data, methods that were published by the FAO and are still used internationally by many researchers and government analysts. As a professor at the University of Illinois and later as Chief Scientist at Winrock International, she led and collaborated with staff to improve landscape-level visualization of carbon density data for the tropics, development of intensive inventory methods for more accurate estimates of carbon density, and use of remote sensing techniques to expand and plot carbon data to larger scales. Dr. Brown was also a wetlands scientist and contributed to the understanding of freshwater-forested wetlands functioning

Citation: Lugo, Ariel E. and Gonzalez, Grizelle. 2017. Sandra Brown (1944–2017): A Distinguished Tropical Ecologist. Forests (8)7.

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