IVADO is supporting this research program with $1.2M as part of our Strategic Research Funding Program launched in 2021. We invite you to visit the program’s main page to view its objectives and better understand the process that supported this project.

Program description

Climate change is altering plant biodiversity, with potentially catastrophic consequences on the resilience and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. A major source of uncertainty in the global terrestrial carbon budget, and thus for future climate projections, is how plant species differ in their phenological responses to seasonal climate fluctuations. In addition, climate change reshuffles plant species distributions across entire landscapes, but we are unable to keep track of those changes in biodiversity using classical field-based sampling. Remote sensing technologies such as phenocams or drones offer potential to study plant phenology and biodiversity in great detail across spatial scales. These new approaches could revolutionise biodiversity science and conservation, and help guide the design of nature-based solutions essential to mitigate the effects of  climate change. New AI algorithms are needed to unlock the full potential of this transformative technology and its links to more traditional data streams and products. This program will develop these new algorithms, building on the most recent developments in computer vision and meta-learning to map plant species and their phenological signatures. Algorithms will be put directly into the hands of scientific and non-scientific end-users via the development of an active learning platform. This AI research will empower researchers and practitioners to turn imagery into actionable data about plant biodiversity and phenology, providing them with tools to help fight biodiversity loss and the effects of climate change.

Principal Investigators

Etienne Laliberté

Full Professor

Université de Montréal, IRBV

Christopher Pal

Full Professor

Polytechnique Montréal, Mila

David Rolnick

Assistant Professor

McGill University, Mila

Oliver Sonnentag

Associate Professor

Université de Montréal

Anne Bruneau

Full Professor

Université de Montréal, IRBV

Useful links

Resources related to this program will appear here.


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