PhD Research - Conrado Rudorff

Prior to pursuing his doctorate as a Fulbright Scholar at the Bren School, Conrado studied in Brazil, receiving a BSc in Sanitary and Environmental Engineering from Federal University of Santa Catarina (2003) and an MSc in Remote Sensing from the National Institute for Space Research (2006). His PhD advisor is John Melack, and committee members include Thomas Dunne and Sally MacIntyre. His current research examines the interaction between physical and biogeochemical processes regulating carbon fluxes in the Amazon floodplain within the scope of a NASA’s Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems funded research.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Summary
Wetlands are sites of intense biological activity and have a strong influence on our planet’s carbon cycle. In the face of climate change and other anthropogenic pressures, it is critically important to develop new methods to improve our understanding of the processes that control carbon cycling in the Amazon and extend our ability to quantify fluxes. Assessing wetland metabolism and gas evasion requires observations to determine the dynamics of flooding, biogenic gas production, and pathways of emissions. Observations of this kind are difficult to obtain simultaneously and require remote sensing and field measurements having sufficient accuracy and spatial and temporal resolution. While additional empirical studies are necessary, the use of process-based numerical models may enhance our ability to account for the principal sources of spatial and temporal variability in biophysical and biogeochemical interactions. Through my research, performed at the scale of a single, rather large floodplain — Lago Grande de Curuai, in the state of Pará, Brazil — I seek to improve our understanding of, and our ability to model, the processes of inundation, vertical and horizontal mixing, and biogenic gas production and evasion.


Rudorff, C. M., J. M. Melack, S. MacIntyre, C. C. F. Barbosa, and E. M. L. M. Novo (2011), Seasonal and spatial variability of CO2 emission from a large floodplain lake in the lower Amazon, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, G04007, doi:10.1029/2011JG001699.

Rudorff, C.M., L.S. Galvao and E.M.L.M. Novo, 2009. Reflectance of floodplain waterbodies using EO-1 Hyperion data from high and receding flood periods of the Amazon River. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 30, 2713-2720, doi:10.1080/01431160902755320

Rudorff, C.M., E.M.L.M. Novo, L.S. Galvão and, W. Pereira Filho, 2007. Derivative analysis of hyperespectral data measured at field and orbital level to characterize the composition of optically complex waters in the Amazon. Acta Amazonica, 37, 279-290, doi:10.1590/S0044-59672007000200014.

Breunig, F.M., F. Wachholz, W. Pereira Filho and C.M. Rudorff, 2007. Analysis of optical proprieties of the water reservoir Rodolfo Costa e Silva – Itaara/RS – Brazil with field spectral data and orbital multispectral images. Ambiente e Água - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science, 2, 88-102, doi: 10.4136/1980-993X

Rudorff, C.M., R. Rizzi, B.F.T. Rudorff, L.M.S. Berka and C.A.O. Vieira, 2007. Spectral-temporal response surface of MODIS sensor images for soybean area classification in Rio Grande do Sul State. Ciência Rural, 37, 118-125, doi:10.1590/S0103-84782007000100019

Rudorff, C.M., E.M.L.M. Novo and L.S. Galvão, 2006. Spectral mixture analysis for water quality assessment over the amazon floodplain using satellite hyperspectral remote sensing. Ambiente e Água - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science, 1, 65-79, doi: 10.4136/ambi-agua.13