• Handheld Spectrometer used in the Amazon Rainforest by the Tropical Forest Science Group

Mass Spectrometry & Spectroscopy

Handheld Spectrometer used in the Amazon Rainforest by the Tropical Forest Science Group

Oct 10 2014

Analytik report on how handheld spectroscopy is being used at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute.


Dr Chris Doughty is a lecturer in ecosystem ecology within the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the University of Oxford. He is also a Junior Research Fellow in the Tropical Forest Science group of the ECI.


Chris describes his work and vision where a handheld spectrometer becomes a vital part of his laboratory on the move. “Our goal is to use leaf spectroscopy to predict leaf traits (photosynthesis, leaf chemistry, etc.). We then hope to develop these techniques to eventually use airborne remote sensing above the forest to better predict the carbon balance and health of tropical forests.” Currently he is coordinating research at seventeen rainforest plots in six sites across the Amazon basin. At these plots, intensive monitoring of forest carbon cycling and allocation will: 1) provide baseline estimates of current forest carbon storage, and 2) track ongoing changes in forest carbon cycling. These results will help to develop the next generation of coupled atmosphere-biosphere models and guide international climate policy.”


Chris’ enthusiasm for his research is clear: “I love studying tropical forests because they are important stores of biodiversity and carbon, but they are often difficult to study due to their remote locations. Our work will hopefully make it easier to measure and understand forests in the most remote regions.”


Speaking of his choice of the portable Vis-NIR FieldSpec system, he noted, “I had previously learned on another ASD spectrometer from 400-2500 nm and an integrating sphere. Moving to the new FieldSpec HandHeld 2 has provided me with a system that is robust in the field, easy to carry and ideal for my diverse working environments.”


The FieldSpec HandHeld 2 spectroradiometer performs rapid, precise, non-destructive and non-contact spectral measurement in a truly portable design. The HandHeld 2 minimises field data collection time while maximising the quality of spectral results.

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