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Sumalika Biswas, Ph.D.

B.S., Calcutta University, India; M.S., Forest Research Institute University, India; Ph.D., University of Maryland

Sumalika Biswas is an ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center, which strives to find solutions to present-day conservation challenges. Biswas uses remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and statistics for forest conservation applications. Her research involves the use of multi-scale and multi-sensor remotely sensed datasets—ranging from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or drones) to active and passive satellite data. Her current project focuses on mapping different forest types in Myanmar.

Biswas has been involved in forest monitoring and conservation efforts for more than nine years. She has experience working in both tropical and temperate forests and protected areas in Germany, India, Mexico, Myanmar and the United States. Prior to joining SCBI, she worked as a consultant for the Environment and Natural Resources and Global Environment Facility divisions at the World Bank. During her Ph.D., she served as the NASA Land-Cover/ Land-Use Change Program Assistant and a field data collector for the NASA Carbon Monitoring System team. Her master’s dissertation on retrieval of biomass from satellite lidar was supported by stipend from the Max Planck Institute of Biogeochemistry, Germany. In India, she has worked on projects with government organizations, the Forest Survey of India and the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing.
Biswas earned her masters of science in environment management from the Forest Research Institute University in India in 2009, and her doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on Contemporary Forest Cover Dynamics in Myanmar, in which she worked closely with remote sensing scientists from the University of Maryland, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.
Recent Publications: 

Biswas, Sumalika, Vadrevu, Krishna Prasad, Lwin, Zin Mar, Lasko, Kristofer, and Justice, Christopher Owen. 2015. Factors Controlling Vegetation Fires in Protected and Non-Protected Areas of Myanmar. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0124346. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0124346

Biswas, Sumalika, Lasko, Kristofer, and Vadrevu, Krishna Prasad. 2015. Fire Disturbance in Tropical Forests of Myanmar—Analysis Using MODIS Satellite Datasets. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing 8(5): 2273 – 2281. https://doi.org/10.1109/JSTARS.2015.2423681.

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