John Gamon

CCIS 2-277
Web Site

Student Research Opportunities – Gamon Lab, Beginning 2012

Applicants to the Gamon research group should visit for current information on activities and opportunities.

Research Interests

Dr. Gamon studies the "breathing of the planet" - the exchanges of carbon and water vapour between the biosphere and the atmosphere that affect ecosystem productivity and help regulate our atmosphere and climate. Of particular interest are the effects of disturbance (fires, succession, weather events and climate change) on these basic processes. Additional research questions involve the detection of plant physiology, ecosystem function, species composition, and biodiversity using non-contact sampling methods. Much of this work is done with optical monitoring (remote sensing and automated field methods), and entails the development of new monitoring methods and related informatics tools.

To encourage wider usage of these methods, Dr. Gamon co-founded SpecNet, (Spectral Network), a network of collaborating sites and investigators using optical sampling methods (particularly spectral reflectance) to studying ecological questions. He conducts fieldwork in a range of ecosystems from the Arctic to the Tropics.

  • Gamon JA, Bond B (2013) Effects of irradiance and photosynthetic downregulation on the Photochemical Reflectance Index in Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. Remote Sensing of Environment 135:141-149.
  • Townsend PA, Serbin SP, Kruger EL, Gamon JA (2013) Disentangling the contribution of biological and physical properties of leaves and canopies in imaging spectroscopy data.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (12) E1074
  • Gamon JA, Huemmrich KF, Stone RS, Tweedie C (2013) Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity (NDVI) of Coastal Alaskan Tundra: Decreased Vegetation Growth following Earlier Snowmelt.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 129:144-153.
  • Williamson SN, Hik DS, Gamon JA, Kavanaugh JL, Koh S (2013) Evaluating cloud contamination in clear-sky MODIS Terra daytime Land Surface Temperatures using ground-based meteorology station observations.  Journal of Climate 26:1551-1560.
  • Gamon JA, Berry JA (2012) Facultative and constitutive pigment effects on the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) in sun and shade conifer needles.  Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, 60: 85-95  DOI: 10.1560/IJPS.60.1-2.85 (special issue in honor of Anatoly Gitelson)
  • Alvarez-Añorve M, Quesada M, Sanchez-Azofeifa A, Avila-Cabadilla LD, Gamon JA (2012) Functional regeneration and spectral reflectance of trees during succession in a highly diverse tropical dry forest ecosystem.  American Journal of Botany, 99(5): 816-826.
  • Gamon JA, Kershaw P, Williamson S, Hik D (2012) Microtopographic patterns in an arctic baydjarakh field: do fine-grain patterns enforce landscape stability? Environ. Res. Lett. 7 (2012) 015502. Available online at:
  • Sanchez-Azofeifa A, Oki Y, Fernandes GW, Ball RA, Gamon J (2011) Relationships between endophyte diversity and leaf optical properties. Trees – Structure and Function. DOI 10.1007/s00468-011-0591-5
  • Gamon, J.A. (2011) Linking flux measurements and remote sensing with field optical sampling. AsiaFlux Newsletter, Issue No. 33: 8-15. Available online at:
  • Gamon, JA (2010) Integrating Remote Sensing and Flux Measurements. FluxLetter, Vol 3(1):7-10. (FLUXNET newsletter, available online at:
  • Garbulsky MF, Peñuelas J, Gamon JA, Inoue Y, Filella I. (2010) The Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) and the remote sensing of leaf, canopy and ecosystem radiation use efficiencies; a review and meta-analysis. Remote Sensing of Environment. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2010.08.023
  • Gamon JA, Coburn C, Flanagan L, Huemmrich KF, Kiddle C, Sanchez-Azofeifa GA, Thayer D, Vescovo L, Gianelle D, Sims D, Rahman AF, Zonta Pastorella G (2010) SpecNet revisited: bridging flux and remote sensing communities. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 36(Suppl. 2): S376–S390.
  • Goswami S, Gamon JA, Tweedie CE (2010) Surface hydrology of an arctic ecosystem: multi-scale analysis of a flooding and draining experiment using spectral reflectance. J. Geophys. Res., 116, G00I07, doi:10.1029/2010JG001346
  • Huemmrich KF, Kinoshita G, Gamon JA, Houston S, Kwon H, Oechel WC (2010) Tundra Carbon Balance Under Varying Temperature and Moisture Regimes. Journal of Geophysical Research. 115, G00I02, doi:10.1029/2009JG001237, 2010
  • Ustin SL, Gamon JA (2010) Remote sensing of plant functional types. New Phytologist. 186: 795–816
  • KF Huemmrich, JA Gamon, CE Tweedie, SF Oberbauer,  G Kinoshita, S Houston, A Kuchy, RD Hollister, H Kwon, M Mano, Y Harazono, PJ Webber, WC Oechel (2010) 'Remote sensing of tundra gross ecosystem productivity and light  efficiency under varying temperature and moisture conditions'.  Remote Sensing of Environment.  114(3):481-489.
  • Quesada M, Sanchez-Azofeifa G, Alvarez-Anorve M, Stoner KE, Avila-Cabadilla L, Calvo-Alvarado J, Castillo A, Espiritu-Santo MM, Fagundes M, Fernandes GW, Gamon J, Lopezaraiza-Mikel M, Lawrence D, Morellato P, Powers J, Neves F, Rosas-Guerrero V, Sayago R, Sanchez-Montoya G (2009) 'Succession and management of tropical dry forests in the Americas: Review and new perspectives'.  Forest Ecology and Management. 258:1014-1024.
  • Sanchez –Azofeifa G, Castro K, Wright SJ, Gamon J, Rivard B, Kalacska M, Schnitzer S (2009) 'Differences in leaf traits, leaf internal structure, and spectral reflectance between two communities of lianas and trees : Implications for remote sensing in tropical environments'. Remote Sensing of Environment. 113:2076-2088
  • Ustin SL, Gitelson AA, Jacquemoud S, Schaepman ME, Asner GP, Gamon JA, Zarco-Tejada P (2009) 'Retrieval of Foliar Information about Plant Pigment Systems from High Resolution Spectroscopy', Remote Sensing of Environment. 113:S67-77.
  • Gamon, J.A., Qiu, H-L, Sanchez-Azofeifa, A. (2007). 'Ecological Applications of Remote Sensing at Multiple Scales'. IN: Pugnaire, F.I., Valladares, F. (eds.) Plant Functional Ecology, 2nd ed., CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl., 655-684.
  • Stitch, S., McGuire, A.D., Kimball, J., Gedney, N., Gamon, J., Engstrom, R., Wolf, A. and Zhuang, Q. 2007. 'Assessing the circumpolar carbon balance of arctic tundra with remote sensing and process-based modeling approaches'. Ecological Application 17: 213-234.
  • Gamon, J.A., Rahman, A.F., Dungan, J.L.O., Schedhauer, M., Huemmrich, K.F. 2006. 'Spectral Network (SpecNet): what is it and why do we need it?' Remote Sensing of Environment 103: 227-235.
  • Gamon, J.A., Cheng, Y., Claudio, H., MacKinney, L., Sims, D. 2006. 'A mobile tram system for systematic sampling ecosystem optical properties'. Remote Sensing of Environment 103: 246-254.
  • Ustin, S.L., Roberts, D.A., Gamon, J.A., Asner, G.P., Green, R.O. 2004. 'Using imaging spectroscopy to study ecosystem processes and properties'. BioScience 54(6): 523-533.
Research area
  • Disturbance effects on ecosystem function
  • Climate change impacts in northern latitude ecosystems
  • Remote sensing for sampling terrestrial ecosystem composition and function
  • Detecting plant biochemical responses with non-contact optical methods 
  • Plant ecophysiology, particularly related to photosynthesis and environmental stress
  • Eco-informatics and Cyberinfrastructure for ecosystem monitoring
Research Opportunities

I welcome inquiries from students interested in ecology (ecophysiology, ecosystems ecology), remote sensing, ecosystem modeling and eco-informatics and cyberinfrastructure.