Rasmus Fensholt

Rasmus Fensholt



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 10.860.000 € obtained

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

2022 - 2024: “PARDI - Partial disturbances” H2020, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Post doc. Fellowships. Grant holder. 200.000 €

2021 - 2023: "CTREES - Tracking Carbon Sequestration at Tree Level" EuroStars Grant. Grant holder. 660.000 €

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; 215 

(26 Nature & Science journal group papers)

Peer reviewed book chapters; 4 

21184 citations; H index; 72

(Google scholar citations, Dec. 5th 2023)



47 completed M.Sc. projects, 17 PhD, 7 Post. Doc.

Currently supervising 11 PhD’s and 7 Post-docs.


PhD., Cand. scient.

ID: 11318