Personal profile

Personal information

Guido van der Werf received his MSc. (2001) and PhD (2006) from the Vrije Universiteit, the latter based on a 3 year internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. He received fellowships from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2006 (Veni) and 2014 (Vici) and a starting grant from the European Research Council (ERC) in 2011. Together with colleagues in the U.S. he developed the Global Fire Emissions Database and he is since 2014 amongst the 1% most frequently cited Earth scientists. 


Van der Werf aims to understand how the global carbon cycle interacts with the climate system. His group focuses specifically on deforestation and forest fires. Combining biogeochemical modeling, satellite data, and atmospheric modeling enables them to quantify fire and deforestation emissions, and these are the basis for exploring their response to and influence on climatic, demographic, and socio-economical changes. In addition, they use satellite data to test ecological hypotheses over large scales.


Van der Werf teaches the Global Change course for Bachelor students Earth Sciences and Earth and Economics students, and coordinates the Master's course Global Biogeochemical Cycles for Earth Sciences students

Ancillary activities

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Last update Ancillary Activities: Amsterdam (2018-02-25)

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Research Output 2003 2017

A human-driven decline in global burned area

Andela, N., Morton, D. C., Giglio, L., Chen, Y., van der Werf, G. R., Kasibhatla, P. S., DeFries, R. S., Collatz, G. J., Hantson, S., Kloster, S., Bachelet, D., Forrest, M., Lasslop, G., Li, F., Mangeon, S., Melton, J. R., Yue, C. & Randerson, J. T. 30 Jun 2017 In : Science. 356, 6345, p. 1356-1361

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

A pan-tropical cascade of fire driven by El Niño/Southern Oscillation

Chen, Y., Morton, D. C., Andela, N., Van Der Werf, G. R., Giglio, L. & Randerson, J. T. 1 Dec 2017 In : Nature Climate Change. 7, 12, p. 906-911 6 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Fire and deforestation dynamics in Amazonia (1973–2014)

van Marle, M. J. E., Field, R. D., van der Werf, G. R., Estrada de Wagt, I. A., Houghton, R. A., Rizzo, L. V., Artaxo, P. & Tsigaridis, K. 1 Jan 2017 In : Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 31, 1, p. 24-38 15 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

Global fire emissions estimates during 1997-2016

Van Der Werf, G. R., Randerson, J. T., Giglio, L., Van Leeuwen, T. T., Chen, Y., Rogers, B. M., Mu, M., Van Marle, M. J. E., Morton, D. C., Collatz, G. J., Yokelson, R. J. & Kasibhatla, P. S. 12 Sep 2017 In : Earth System Science Data. 9, 2, p. 697-720 24 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview article

Historic global biomass burning emissions for CMIP6 (BB4CMIP) based on merging satellite observations with proxies and fire models (1750-2015)

Van Marle, M. J. E., Kloster, S., Magi, B. I., Marlon, J. R., Daniau, A. L., Field, R. D., Arneth, A., Forrest, M., Hantson, S., Kehrwald, N. M., Knorr, W., Lasslop, G., Li, F., Mangeon, S., Yue, C., Kaiser, J. W. & Van Der Werf, G. R. 11 Sep 2017 In : Geoscientific Model Development. 10, 9, p. 3329-3357 29 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview article