Hakim Abdi new blogger in Curie

2021-04-06

He blogs about satellites, science communication and being an early career researcher. Hakim Abdi has a post doc at Center for Environmental and Climate Science of Lund University. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his family and to go out birding.

What is your research area?
I work mainly with data from Earth-observing satellites to map dryland ecosystems and their response to drought. The concept of “drought in drylands” may sound strange because drylands are, by definition, areas that are dry. But, they do experience periodic and sometimes prolonged drought, and are sometimes overlooked relative to more temperate areas where the effects of drought are more easily visible. The advantages of satellite data is their coverage of large areas and long time periods as well as the ability to combine them with field, climate, biodiversity or demographic data to get an idea of the processes that are happening at large scales. In a sense satellites are a macroscope onto Earth.

How did you become interested in the topic?
I’ve always been interested in drylands because I grew up in such an environment, but interest in remote sensing came after finishing high school when I was an intern at an environmental agency. The researchers there used data from the Landsat satellite to characterize coastal environments, which I found fascinating. But, I didn’t really delve into the topic much until my master’s.

What do you prefer to do in your spare time?
When not working I like to spend time with my family, particularly my two young children. Other than that, I love to go out birding, which has been my hobby since I was 14 years old. I truly appreciate the myriad of bird-rich habitats and nature reserves here in Skåne.

What was the last book you read?
A World Without Ice by Henry Pollack.

What are you going to blog about?
A mix of topics on being an early career researcher, importance of science communication, and certain scientific topics that are related to my work, such as satellites.

What are your expectations of blogging in the Curie?
Reaching out to a broader audience and communicating my work. I find it both challenging and rewarding to reach out to the general public about my research and why it is important for us to better understand our planet.

Text: Peter Tillhammar

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