Eben N. Broadbent is an assistant professor of forest ecology and geomatics in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida where he co-directs the Spatial Ecology and Conservation Lab and the GatorEye Unmanned Flying Laboratory Project with Dr. Almeyda Zambrano (Prof. of tropical conservation and development, TRSM, UFL) and is an affiliated researcher with the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Before starting at the University of Florida he was an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Alabama for two years. Prior to this, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University where he conducted research on the Osa and Golfito region of Southwest Costa Rica through La Iniciativa Osa & Golfito with Prof. Rodolfo Dirzo (Dept. of Biology, Stanford University) and an excellent team including Angelica M. Almeyda Zambrano, Lucia Morales Barquero, Sandra L. Almeyda Zambrano, and Carlos Alberto Quispe Gil, for efforts related to the marine and terrestrial ecosystems component and with Dr. Lynne Gaffikin (School of Medicine, Stanford University) focusing on interactions between environmental change and human health. In addition to having coordinated field workshops, questionnaires, surveys, and participatory mapping efforts, he leads an ongoing effort, named INOGO Mapas, using high resolution RapidEye satellite imagery to develop automated techniques to map land use and ecosystem services of the region through methods integrating image segmentation and spectral analysis with detailed field studies.
From 2012-13, he served as a postdoctoral fellow affiliated with the Conservation Biology Institute of the Smithsonian Institution linking the ForestGEO plot network with global deforestation and forest fragmentation data, in collaboration with Dr. Kristina Anderson-Teixeira, and with Harvard Forest at Harvard University developing future scenarios of New England using an iterative stakeholder driven process to parameterize spatial-temporal simulations from 2010-60 through coupled numerical models of land use change, forest succession and disturbance (LANDIS-II) and ecosystem services (InVEST). Prior to this he served as a doctoral and postdoctoral fellow in the Sustainability Science Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, based in Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology where his faculty host was Prof. Missy Holbrook.
He began working in the tropics in 1998 while earning his BS in botany at the University of Vermont where he investigated niche partitioning among tree canopy cloud forest epiphytes in Monteverde, Costa Rica, advised by Drs. Alan and Karen Masters and Prof. David Barrington (Dept. of Botany, UVM). He obtained his master’s degree in forestry from the University of Florida, where he was advised by Prof. Dan Zarin (School of Forest Resources & Conservation, UFL), linking field measurements of forest regeneration in selective logging tree fall gaps in Bolivia with spectral unmixing of ASTER satellite imagery. He then received his doctorate from the Department of Biology at Stanford University in 2012, co-advised by Dr. Greg Asner (Dept. of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution) and Prof. Chris Field (Dept. of Biology, Stanford University ), where he was a Department of Energy Global Change Education Project Doctoral Research Fellow (DOE GCEP). His dissertation is titled “Forest dynamics across temporal and spatial scales”. Given the broad nature of the dissertation, the study topics encompassed: (1) forest fragmentation and edge effects over the Brazilian Amazon, (2) quantifying the 3D spatial distribution of tree biomass and diversity in a lowland tropical forest in Bolivia, and (3) using airborne LiDAR – hyperspectral fusion techniques to quantify interactions among climate, species composition and forest structure in a Hawaiian rainforest. For this research he was awarded a DOE GCEP Fellowship, a NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.
Over the last decade he has conducted research focusing on the tropics, including in the Brazilian, Bolivian, and Peruvian Amazon, Papua Indonesia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Mexico, and also including work in California and in his childhood forests of New England. He has worked as a research ecologist in the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, at the Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and at Hudsonia Ltd. at Bard College. He is involved in projects linking social sciences with forest ecology, conservation biology and remote sensing, including current projects investigating feedbacks between soil fertility and land use decision making in the context of rapid infrastructure development in the Amazon and linking land use change with water quality and biodiversity in Costa Rica.