Københavns Universitet
Uafhængig af ledelsen


PhD defense: Klas Rydhmer

Ph.d.-forsvar — PhD defense: Klas Rydhmer Insects in the spotlight - Photonic monitoring of bees and insect biodiversity


Date & Time:

Auditorium Von Langen, Baghuset, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg

Hosted by:
Section of Forest, Nature and Biomass


Klas Rydhmer defends his thesis,

Insects in the spotlight,
– photonic monitoring of bees and insect biodiversity

Teams link
Passcode: 2JpgdA

Professor Inger Kappel Schmidt, IGN, Denmark

Company supervisor:
Chief Data Officer Mads Fogtmann, FaunaPhotonics A/S, Denmark

Senior Researcher Carsten Kirkeby, KU, Denmark
Senior Lecturer Mikkel Brydegaard, Lund University, Sweden
Professor Henrik Smith, Lund University, Sweden

Assessment committee:
Professor Dr. Rudolf Meier, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany
Associate Professor Ola Olsson, Lund University, Sweden
Assistant Professor Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen (Chair), IGN, Denmark

My thesis is the result of an industrial PhD project in cooperation between FaunaPhotonics A/S and the Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at Copenhagen University. It explores the viability of using optical sensors for monitoring of bees and insect diversity.

Declines in insect abundance and diversity have shown the need for large scale and long running studies of insects. However, such studies are resource intensive and costly with conventional methods. Therefore, there is a need for new methods to complement the old monitoring approaches.

Entomological lidar has become increasingly common in recent years and allows the recording of thousands of insect observations in minutes. Such instruments emit a beam of light and record the reflected light from insects passing through the beam. The data is recorded as a time signal where, amongst other features, the wingbeat frequency is easily resolved. Since entomological lidar is a non-intrusive monitoring method yielding large number of insect observations, it is a promising tool for insect diversity monitoring.

Monitoring biodiversity is a complex task that can involve identifying a large number of insects to sub-species level. While this seems unfeasible with optical instrumentation, this PhD project explores the possibility to develop a “simple” biodiversity indicator, analogous to species richness, or Simpson´s biodiversity index. The thesis describes the development of a new optical sensor, similar to entomological lidar and how it can be used to monitor insect abundance and diversity. It also compares the results from this sensor with conventional methods such as yellow water and Malaise traps in field experiments in Denmark, Sweden and the US.

A digital version of the PhD thesis can be obtained from the PhD secretary phd@ign.ku.dk