TU Berlin

Geoinformation in Environmental PlanningFörster, Michael

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Dr. Michael Förster


Senior Scientist

Phone: +49 (0)30 / 314 - 72 79 8


Room: EB 236b
Consultation hour: by arrangement

Personal Data
Date and place of birth: 1975 (Burgstädt, Saxony, Germany)
Employment and academic vita
Visiting Scientist at the Joint Research Center (JRC) in Ispra, Italy (Bioeconomy Unit)
Visiting Scientist at the University Utrecht, Netherlands (Department of Physical Geography)
Visiting Scientist at the European Academy Bolzano (EURAC), Italy (Institute for Applied Remote Sensing)
since 2009
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Department of Geoinformation Processing for Landscape and Environmental Planning
Research Scientist
Technische Universität Berlin, Institute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Department of Geoinformation Processing for Landscape and Environmental Planning
Consultant and GIS-Coordinator
Environmental Consulting and Planning Agency - Froelich & Sporbeck, Potsdam, Germany
Research Associate
Geo-Forschungs-Zentrum (GFZ) Potsdam, Section 1.4 (Remote Sensing)
Exchange Student (ERASMUS)
University of Southampton, UK
Studies of Geoecology
Universität Potsdam, Germany
Diploma, University of Potsdam Grade: 1,1 (on a scale from 1 to 6, where 1 is highest)
Doctorate, Technische Universität Berlin, summa cum laude

Research Topics

  • Development of methods to analyse the dynamics of ecosystems from time-series (optical and SAR), especially for degradation processes or abrupt damages (e.g. caused by fire or storms)
  • Relation of temporal and spectral signals to plant traits and biophysical variables (xantophyll, nitrogen, chlorophyll and fluorescence)
  • Derivation of operationalizable and comprehensive environmental indicators that are needed for the effective implementation of management measures (e.g. within the framework of the European NATURA 2000 requirements) or for a better understanding of ecosystems
  • Interaction of vegetation structure, which can be measured with LiDAR or SAR, with spectral information for the evaluation of forest properties
  • Combining spatially very high resolution data (drones) with satellite data to understand ecohydrological processes and especially to derive hydrological variables such as soil moisture content or interception



Tillack, A., Clasen, A., Kleinschmit, B. and Förster, M. (2014): Estimation of Seasonal Leaf Area Index in an Alluvial Forest Using High Resolution Satellite-based Vegetation Indices. Remote Sensing of Environment, 141, pp. 52-63. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.10.018

Fassnacht, F., Neumann, C., Förster, M., Buddenbaum, H., Ghosh, A., Clasen, A., Joshi, P. and Koch, B. (2014): Comparison of feature selection algorithms for classifying tree-species with hyperspectral data on three central-european test sites. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 7(6). doi: 10.1109/JSTARS.2014.2329390

Rannow, S., Macgregor, N., Albrecht, J., Förster, M., Heiland, S., Janauer, G., Morecroft, M., Neubert, M., Sarbu, A. and Sienkiewicz, J. (2014): Managing Protected Areas under Climate Change - challenges and priorities. Environmental Management, 54, pp. 732-743. doi: 10.1007/s00267-014-0271-5

Suchenwirth, L., Stümer, W., Schmidt, T., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2014): Large-scale mapping of carbon stocks in riparian forests with self-organizing maps and the k-nearest-neighbor algorithm. Forests, 5(7), pp. 1635-1652. doi: 10.3390/f5071635

Rannow, S. and Förster, M. (2014): Managing Protected Areas under Climate Change - Diverse Management for Biodiversity. Environmental Management, 54, pp. 669-670. doi: 10.1007/s00267-014-0340-9

Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2014): Significance Analysis of Different Types of Ancillary Geodata Utilized in a Multisource Classification Process for Forest Identification in Germany. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 52(5), pp. 3453-3463. doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2013.2273080


Rocchini, D., Foody, G., Nagendra, H., Ricotta, C., Anand, M., He, K., Amici, V., Kleinschmit, B., Förster, M., Schmidtlein, S., Feilhauer, H., Ghisla, A., Metz, M. and Neteler, M. (2013): Uncertainty in ecosystem mapping by remote sensing. Computers & Geosciences, 50, pp. 128-135. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2012.05.022

Suchenwirth, L., Förster, M., Lang, F. and Kleinschmit, B. (2013): Estimation and Mapping of Carbon Stocks in Riparian Forests by using a Machine Learning Approach with Multiple Geodata. PFG - Photogrammetrie - Fernerkundung - Geoinformation(4), pp. 249-265. doi: 10.1127/1432-8364/2013/0181

Minx, J., Baiocci, G., Wiedemann, T., Barrett, J., Creutzig, F., Feng, K., Förster, M., Pichler, P., Weisz, H. and Hubacek, K. (2013): Carbon Footprints of Cities and other Human Settlements in the UK. Environmental Research Letters, 8(035039). doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/3/035039

Other Publications


Nieland, S., Moran, N., Kleinschmit, B. and Förster, M. (2014): Using semantic-based spatial reclassification for interoperable data management in Natura 2000 monitoring. In: Ames, D.P. and Quinn, N.W.T. and Rizzoli, A. (Eds.): 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software, San Diego, California, USA. ISBN: 978-88-9035-744-2


Nieland, S., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2013): Towards Semantic Interoperability in Biodiversity Monitoring. In: Jekel, T. and Car, A. and Strobl, J. and Griesebner, G. (Eds.): GI_Forum 2013 - Creating the GI Society - Conference Proceedings, Salzburg, pp. 524-527.

Schröder, C., Garcia, F., Buck, O., Corbane, C., Deshayes, M., Förster, M., García-Millán, V., Gil-Jimenez, Y., Lang, S., Ramos-Losada, B., Simón-Colina, A. and Vanden Borre, J. (2013): Validation of Habitat Assessment Services in Natura 2000 Sites: Streamlining the Role of Stakeholders from User Needs to Conservation Status Evaluation. In: Jekel, T. and Car, A. and Strobl, J. and Griesebner, G. (Eds.): GI_Forum 2013 - Creating the GI Society - Conference Proceedings, Salzburg, pp. 548-551.

Tillack, A., Clasen, A., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2013): Estimation of Seasonal Leaf Area Index in an Alluvial Forest Using RapidEye-Based Vegetation Indices. In: Borg, E. and Daedelow, H. and Johnson, R. (Eds.): From the Basics to the Service - 5th RESA Workshop, Neustrelitz, pp. 299-304. ISBN: 978-3-95545-002-1

Förster, M., Schmidt, T., Spindler, N., Renner, K., Wagner-Lücker, I., Zebisch, M. and Neubert, M. (2013): Remote sensing methods to monitor habitats potentially threatened by climate change. SPIE Remote Sensing, pp. 88930L1-88930L8. doi: 10.1117/12.2029354

Förster, M., Köppen, A., Ferretti, J., Köppel, J. and Kleinschmit, B. (2013): Generalisation of Planning Data as a Contribution to Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA): The Example of a City-Wide Biotope-Type Assessment for Berlin. In: Geertman, S. and Toppen, F. and Stillwell, J. (Eds.): Planning Support Systems for Sustainable Urban Development, Springer, Berlin, pp. 151-165.


Suchenwirth, L., Gärtner, P., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Combining Object-Based Image Analysis and Data Mining for Carbon Assessment in Floodplains. In: Feitosa, R.Q. and da Costa, G.A.O.P. and de Almeida, C.M. and Fonseca, L.M.G. and Kux, H.J.H. (Eds.): 4th International Conference on GEographic Object-Based Image Analysis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pp. 96-101. ISBN: 978-85-17-00059-1

Nieland, S., Förster, M. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Towards a Remote Sensing Biodiversity Monitoring Ontology. AGILE 2012, Avignon.

Förster, M., Schmidt, T., Schuster, C. and Kleinschmit, B. (2012): Multi-Temporal Detection of Grassland Vegetation with Rapideye Imagery and a Spectral-Temporal Library. IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS), Munich, pp. 4930-4933. ISBN: 978-1-4673-1159-5


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