4th Place - A Slow March Through the Desert: Karna Gowda

This image shows shrublands in Somalia from high above. Two images – from 1952 (purple) and 2006 (green) – are overlaid here for comparison. The colors highlight the large communities of shrubs and grasses which grow in bands along this sloping landscape.  Over the fifty years shown here, all the vegetation has moved uphill – the green bands of modern plant growth are further up the hillside than the purple bands from 1952. This is clear visual evidence that ecosystems like this change over time. Mathematician Karna Gowda measures and models these changes to understand how these dynamic ecosystems function and change.

Karna Gowda

Department of Applied Mathematics

DigitalGlobe Satellite Image overlaid with Aerial Photograph from the Royal Air Force + false colored in MATLAB

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