Dr. Giulia Curatola Fernandez

Research Associate

Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management

+41 31 684 32 93
Postal Address
Universität Bern
Geographisches Institut
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern

My research topic is the detection and analysis of landscape transformations through mixed quantitative and qualitative methods based on remote sensing and GIS. Specifically, I focus on the patterns and drivers of land use/cover change in tropical regions. By applying a transdisciplinary approach, the ultimate goal of my work is to improve current land management practices towards more sustainable production systems, protecting cultural and natural landscapes and preserving pristine ecosystems.


Research focus

- Land use/cover change detection

- Deforestation drivers

- Forest fragmentation

- Mapping of tropical mountain peatlands

- Vegetation spectroscopy

- Community-based conservation

Further professional interests

- Ecosystem function and services

- Invasive species

- Land degradation

- Food systems

Field experience

Madre de Dios, Amazonas and Ancash (Peru), Loja and Zamora (Ecuador)

Journal Articles

  • T. Knoke, C. Paul, P. Hildebrandt, B. Calvas, L. M. Castro, F. Härtl, M. Döllerer, U. Hamer, D. Windhorst, Y. Wiersma, G. F. Curatola Fernández, W. Obermeier, J. Adams, L. Breuer, R. Mosandl, M. Weber, B. Stimm, E. Beck, W. Haber, C. Fürst & J. Bendix (2016). Compositional diversity of rehabilitated tropical lands supports multiple ecosystem services and buffers uncertainties. Nature Communications 7, 11877. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11877. Link to PDF: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms11877
  • C. I. B. Wallis, D. Paulsch, J. Zeilinger, B. Silva, G. F. Curatola Fernández, R. Brandl, N. Farwig & J. Bendix (2016). Contrasting performance of Lidar and optical texture models in predicting avian diversity in a tropical mountain forest. Remote Sensing of Environment 174, 223-232. DOI:10.1016/j.rse.2015.12.019. Link to PDF: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0034425715302406
  • G. F. Curatola Fernández, W. A. Obermeier, A. Gerique, M. F. López Sandoval, L. W. Lehnert, B. Thies & J. Bendix (2015). Land cover change in the Andes of southern Ecuador—Patterns and drivers. Remote Sensing 7:3, 2509-2542. DOI: 10.3390/rs70302509. Link to PDF: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/7/3/2509
  • G. F. Curatola Fernández, B. Silva, J. Gawlik, B. Thies & J. Bendix (2013). Bracken fern frond status classification in the Andes of southern Ecuador: combining multispectral satellite data and field spectroscopy. International Journal of Remote Sensing 34:20, 7020-7037. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2013.813091. Link to PDF: www.tandfonline.com/eprint/AmM3B7Kxi9iIqGewuCIC/full


Book Section

  • K. Roos, J. Bendix, G. F. Curatola Fernández, J. Gawlik, A. Gerique, U. Hamer, P. Hildebrandt, T. Knoke, H. Meyer, P. Pohle, K. Potthast, B. Thies, A. Tischer & E. Beck (2013). Current Provisioning Services: Pasture Development and Use, Weeds (Bracken), and Management. In: Bendix J., Beck E., Bräuning A., Makeschin F., Mosandl R., Scheu S. & Wilcke W. (Eds): Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Environmental Change in a Tropical Mountain Ecosystem of South Ecuador. Ecological Studies, Springer: Berlin – Heidelberg - New York, Vol. 221. Link to PDF: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38137-9_15





PhD in Natural Sciences, Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, Faculty of Geography, University of Marburg (DE)

Dissertation on the spatio-temporal distribution patterns an of an invasive species linked to human-induced fires and deforestation in southern Ecuador


Licenciatura in Geography, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PE)

Dissertation on the spatial distribution patterns of a native amazonian tree as indicator of anthropogenic forest disturbance in Madre de Dios, Peru


BSc in Geography, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PE)


Academic exchange year at the University of Fribourg (CH)


Professional experience


Scientific Advisor, Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, Lima (PE)


Postdoctoral researcher, Institute for Nature, Earth and Energy, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Lima (PE)


Scientific Advisor, Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, Lima (PE)


Returning Expert, GIZ / Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, Lima (PE)


Scientific assistant, Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, University of Marburg (DE)


Lecturer and teaching assistant, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PE)


Research assistant, Resident Naturalist program, Explorer’s Inn Lodge, Madre de Dios (PE)

11/2005- 04/2006:

Pre-professional intern, GIS department of the Ministry of Education, Lima (PE)

01/2005- 04/2005:

Pre-professional intern, NGO Practical Action, Huaraz (PE)



Spanish, Italian, German, English and French