Forkel, Matthias

Univ.Ass. Dr.rer.nat. MSc

Research Division:
Remote Sensing
University Assistant
Research Area:
Remote sensing and vegetation modelling to better understand the role of ecosystems in the Earth system
Gußhausstr. 27-29 / E120-01-2 (CB0306)
Phone #:
+43 (1) 58801 12229


From September 2019 onwards, Matthias is appointed as Junior-Professor for Environmental Remote Sensing at the Faculty for Environmental Sciences, Technical University Dresden, Germany. | Twitter: @MatthiasForkel


Matthias was born in Zittau, Germany. He studied Geography (BSc) and Geoinformatics (MSc) with a focus on remote sensing and hydrological modelling at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He had several research stays at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and performed his doctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry Jena. Thereby he focused on remote sensing and modelling of global vegetation trends. He received the PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) degree from the University Jena in 2015. From 2016 to August 2019, Matthias was working as a PostDoc at the Remote Sensing Research Group at TU Wien. Matthias’ main research interest is the development and application of satellite data and global ecosystem models to assess the role of land ecosystems in the carbon cycle and the Earth system. Thereby he has a special focus on vegetation phenology, vegetation dynamics, and ecosystem disturbances like fires. Matthias uses a broad range of methodological approaches like time series analysis of satellite data, machine learning approaches, dynamics global vegetation models, and model-data integration approaches.


All publications: GoogleScholar | Scopus

Key publicatons

Forkel, M., Andela, N., Harrison, S.P., Lasslop, G., Marle, M. van, Chuvieco, E., Dorigo, W., Forrest, M., Hantson, S., Heil, A., Li, F., Melton, J., Sitch, S., Yue, C., Arneth, A. (2019).
Emergent relationships with respect to burned area in global satellite observations and fire-enabled vegetation models
Biogeosciences 16, 57–76.

Buermann, W., Forkel, M., O’Sullivan, M., Sitch, S., Friedlingstein, P., Haverd, V., Jain, A. K., Kato, E., Kautz, M., Lienert, S., Lombardozzi, D., Nabel, J. E. M. S., Tian, H., Wiltshire, A. J., Zhu, D., Smith, W. K. and Richardson, A. D. (2018).
Widespread seasonal compensation effects of spring warming on northern plant productivity
Nature, 562(7725), 110–114, doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0555-7.

Forkel, M., Carvalhais, N., Rödenbeck, C., Keeling, R., Heimann, M., Thonicke, K., Zaehle, S., Reichstein, M. (2016).
Enhanced seasonal CO2 exchange caused by amplified plant productivity in northern ecosystems
Science, doi:10.1126/science.aac4971. Citations: 126

Carvalhais, N., Forkel, M., Khomik, M., Bellarby, J., Jung, M., Migliavacca, M., Mu, M., Saatchi, S., Santoro, M., Thurner, M., Weber, U., Ahrens, B., Beer, C., Cescatti, A., Randerson, J. T., Reichstein, M. (2014).
Global covariation of carbon turnover times with climate in terrestrial ecosystems
Nature, 514, 213-217. doi:10.1038/nature13731. Citations: 264

Forkel, M., Carvalhais, N., Verbesselt, J., Mahecha, M. D., Neigh, C. S., Reichstein, M. (2013).
Trend change detection in NDVI time series: Effects of inter-annual variability and methodology
Remote Sensing, 5(5), 2113-2144. doi:10.3390/rs5052113. Citations: 190


Type Title Semester Hours
VU Climate and Environmental Remote Sensing 2018S 2.0