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Mauricio Acuna

Chilean-born Research Fellow Dr Mauricio Acuna, is helping to introduce new technology to productivity modeling in Tasmania’s forests.

Dr Acuna is based at the CRC for Forestry at the University of Tasmania campus and plans to spend the next year finalizing his projects which will benefit Tasmanian and Australian forestry.

Dr Acuna believes there are many opportunities to improve the competitiveness of the forest sector in Australia.

“Because I come from a country with many bluegum and radiata pine plantations which are similar to those found in Australia, I feel I’m well-placed to understand the local forest sector- its weaknesses and strengths, as well as the challenges faced by operational managers.”

Leading projects over the coming months in Tasmania will see Dr Acuna collecting data from harvesting operations in native forest and plantations as he works towards completing the model of productivity and costs for the Australian forest sector. Of particular interest is his involvement with Terrestrial Lidar*.

“The technology being utilized here can provide foresters and others with the information they need to properly assess the value of a stand of trees. Through the use of Terrestrial Lidar we get a good close-up look at individual trees and can determine the optimum mix of products that may flow from the area or coupe.”

According to Mauricio, this helps in reducing inventory costs and in assessing the commercial viability of an area of trees.

“The role of the CRC and its partnership with industry means I will have the opportunity to disseminate ‘accessible’ information to industry and also completing more in-depth studies for the CRC.”

*LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is an optical remote sensing technology that measures properties of scattered light to find range and/or other information of a distant target.

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