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 mutation Ancillary Activities: Amsterdam(2009-12-08)

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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

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

Historic global biomass burning emissions 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. 8 Feb 2017 In : Geoscientific Model Development Discussions. p. 1-56 56 p.

Research output: ScientificArticle

Reviews and syntheses: An empirical spatiotemporal description of the global surface-atmosphere carbon fluxes: Opportunities and data limitations

Zscheischler, J. , Mahecha, M. D. , Avitabile, V. , Calle, L. , Carvalhais, N. , Ciais, P. , Gans, F. , Gruber, N. , Hartmann, J. , Herold, M. , Ichii, K. , Jung, M. , Landschützer, P. , Laruelle, G. G. , Lauerwald, R. , Papale, D. , Peylin, P. , Poulter, B. , Ray, D. , Regnier, P. & 10 others Rödenbeck, C., Roman-Cuesta, R. M., Schwalm, C. R., Tramontana, G., Tyukavina, A., Valentini, R., Van Der Werf, G., West, T. O., Wolf, J. E. & Reichstein, M. 9 Aug 2017 In : Biogeosciences. 14, 15, p. 3685-3703 19 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewReview article

Annual South American forest loss estimates based on passive microwave remote sensing (1990-2010)

van Marle, M. J. E., van der Werf, G. R., de Jeu, R. A. M. & Liu, Y. Y. 2016 In : Biogeosciences. 13, 2, p. 609-624

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle