Rasmus Fensholt

Rasmus Fensholt


Member of:


    Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management
    University of Copenhagen

    Øster Voldgade 10
    DK 1350 København K
    Phone: +45 35322526 (direct), 3532 2500 (switch board), +45 20885383 (mobile)
    E-mail: rf@ign.ku.dk


    2004: PhD. in Geography, University of Copenhagen.

    1998: Master of Science in Physical Geography, University of Copenhagen.


    2017 – present:     Professor at Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), University of Copenhagen

    2009: Associate professorship position at Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management (IGN), University of Copenhagen (3 months of parental leave in 2009 and 2013).

    2007: Assistant professorship position at Department of Geography & Geology (DGG), University of Copenhagen (3 months of parental leave in 2007).

    2004: Post doc. position at IGN (3 Years).

    2000 - 2004: PhD. study at University of Copenhagen.

    1999 - 2000: Consultant at the National Ministry of Hydrology in Dakar, Senegal (18 months).


    2006: Visiting research fellow at Boston University, Department of Geography (R. Myneni).

    2005: Visiting research fellow at NASA; Earth Sciences Technology Center (C. Tucker).

    2002: Visiting Ph.D. student at Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana, USA. (S. Running).


    2021: Clarivate Plc. Highly Cited Researchers (2010-2020 - top 1% by citations)

    2014: Vega gratia; Swedish society for Anthropology and Geography.

    2011: Sapere Aude research leader grant (The Danish Council for Independent Research career program).

    2011: Invited for ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grants interview.

    2007: Niels Nielsen price for young promising scientist. The Royal Danish Geographical Society.


    2018: Expert Reviewer on the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change) Special Report on Climate Change and Land (Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)).

    2018: Advisory Board member of Sci (open access journal covering all research fields).

    2017: Member of the editorial board of Remote Sensing (open access journal).

    2017: Evaluator of the Horizon 2020 Space 2017 call (proposals under topic EO-1-2017)

    2016: Lead Author of World Atlas of Desertification 3rd edition (coordinated by the European Commission in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)).

    2016: Invited Guest Editor in Remote Sensing - Open Access Journal: Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Land Degradation and Drivers of Change".

    2013 - 2014: Consultant on DIVERSITY II (Supporting the Convention on Biological Diversity) European Space Agency - Data User Element project.

    2010 - Present: Member (16) and chair (3) of assessment and PhD. committees in Denmark and abroad.

    2007 - 2010: Member of the Steering Committee of the ENDELEO project: “Development of a remote sensing derived tool to assess drought in East African ecosystems”.

    2006 - Present: Reviewer for the Belgian Science Policy, Belgian Earth Observation Programme.

    2002 - Present: Peer reviewer of >30 international scientific journals covering climate change, biogeography and Remote Sensing (including Nature and Science).


    2018 – Present: Member of the committee for Danish Space Research

    2015 – Present: Member of International Soil Moisture Network.

    2014 – Present: Member of SpecNet - Linking optical measurements with flux sampling around the world.

    2014 – Present: Member of Management Committee COST Actions, Earth System Science and Environmental Management.

    2012 - Present: Member of the Expert group for evaluation of Copernicus Land service products

    2011 - 2013: Member of the International Steering Committee of the TickRisk project in West Africa (BelSpo).

    2010 - 2013: Member of the IGBP (International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme) National Committee.



    Total PI project funding of 10.000.000 € obtained

    2022 - 2025: Clisa: "Unravelling CLImate change impacts on SAvanna vegetation ecosystems". The Danish Council for Independent Research, Grant holder. 832.000 €.

    2020 - 2025: DeReEco: "Deep Learning and Remote Sensing for Unlocking Global Ecosystem Resource Dynamics". Villum Synergy. Grant holder. 2.000.000 € 

    2018 - 2020: “Between degradation and conservation: The carbon balance of the Chinese karst ecosystems” H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Post doc. Fellowships. Grant holder. 200.000 €

    2016 - 2019: “Understanding Turning Points in Dryland Ecosystem Functioning”. Belgium, Federal Science Policy, Support to Exploration and Research in Earth Observation. External partner. 130.000 €

    2016 - 2019: “Greening of drylands: Towards understanding ecosystem functioning changes, drivers and impacts on livelihoods”. The Danish Council for Independent Research, Grant holder. 822.700 €.

    2015 - 2017: “Biophysical Changes in the Sahel, Ground and Satellite Based Evidence Across Scales and Disciplines”. H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Post doc. Fellowships. Grant holder. 200.000 €

    2015 - 2017: “GlobTemperature, User Case Study for Soil moisture assessment using the triangle method with SEVIRI and AATSR land surface temperature”, European Space Agency (ESA). Grant holder. 100.000 €

    2011 - 2016: “VegTrends - Earth Observation based Land Degradation Trends in Global Drylands” (The Danish Council for Independent Research, Sapere Aude Research Leader Grant). Grant holder. 1.150.000 €.

    2010 - 2015:“Impacts of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Carbon Stocks” I-REDD+ (EU 7th Framework Programme). Co-investigator.

    2010 - 2013: “A region wide assessment of land system resilience and climate robustness in the agricultural frontline of Sahel” (LaSyRe-Sahel) (The Danish Council for Independent Research). Co-investigator.

    2008 - 2013: “West African Network for Studies of Environmental Change” (WANSEC) (The Danish Council for Independent Research). Grant holder. 670.000 €.

    2006 - 2009:“Developing an improved early warning system for Africa using a new generation of Earth Observation data.” (The Danish Council for Independent Research).Grant holder. 360.000€.

    2005 - 2008: “KISS - Kenyan Integrated Satellite Savanna Survey.” (The Danish Council for Independent Research). Grant holder. 320.000 €.



    Research Institution


    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Biospheric Science Branch


    Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


    Instituto de Economía, Geografía y Demografía (IEGD), Madrid


    University of Lund, Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science


    VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research, Remote Sensing and Earth Observation


    Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET), Toulouse


    Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Geography Department, Geomatics Lab


    Wageningen University, (1) Laboratory of Geo-Information Science and Remote Sensing (2) Plant Production Systems Group


    EC-JRC Joint Research Centre, Ispra


    Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing


    Kenyatta University, Dept of Geography & Kenya Wildlife Service


    University of Dakar, Institut des Sciences de l'Environnement (ISE) & Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE)




    Peer reviewed journal papers; 193 

    (23 Nature & Science journal group papers)

    Peer reviewed book chapters; 4 

    17293 citations; H index; 64

    (Google scholar citations, Jan 6th 2023)



    45 completed M.Sc. projects, 15 PhD, 5 Post. Doc.

    Currently supervising 10 PhD’s and 7 Post-docs.

    ID: 11318