Guido van der Werf

University Research Chair
VU University Amsterdam
Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences
Earth and Climate Cluster
Phone: +31 20 598 5687

Research goals

We aim to understand how the global carbon cycle interacts with the climate system. We focus specifically on deforestation and forest fires. Combining biogeochemical modeling, satellite data, and atmospheric modeling enables us to quantify fire and deforestation emissions, and these are the basis for exploring their response to climatic, demographic, and socio-economical changes. In addition, we use satellite data to test ecological hypotheses over large scales.

Work experience & education

  • 2015 - now : Professor of Global Carbon Cycle and Land Use Change (VU University)
  • 2006 - 2014: Researcher (VU University)
  • 2004 - 2006: PhD (VU University)
  • 2000 - 2004: Research assistant (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)
  • 1993 - 2000: Msc (VU University)

Personal grants & awards


  • 2017 Interview about wildfires (Parool, in Dutch)
  • 2016 Fort McMurray fires (De Groene Amsterdammer, in Dutch)
  • 2016 Fort McMurray fires (Washington Post)
  • 2015 Nine "young" internationally orientated researcher in Amsterdam (Parool, in Dutch)
  • 2015 Peat fires around the world (AAAS EurekAlert)
  • 2012 Fast growth of fossil fuel CO2 emissions (Volkskrant, in Dutch)
  • 2009 Deforestation and tropical peatland CO2 emissions (The Guardian, also in print edition)
  • 2009 Tropical peatland CO2 emissions (The Economist, also in print edition)
  • 2009 History of peat fires in Indonesia