At Cary Institute, Dr. McGregor is collaborating with Dr. Evan Gora to better understand and characterize tropical forest disturbance and mortality dynamics from lightning. The research is centered on Barro Colorado Island, Panama, in collaboration with other sites across the Tropics and involves analyses using a mixture of drone flights, multi-source satellite imagery, and field validation surveys.
Dr. McGregor completed his PhD at NC State under the guidance of Dr. Josh Gray. As a NASA Future Investigator in Earth and Space Science and Technology (FINESST) recipient, he developed a near real-time, monitoring algorithm to detect deforestation in northern Myanmar. Using a mix of optical and synthetic aperture radar data, his research focused on three main areas: assessing the importance of trade-offs between accuracy and latency, improving detections by incorporating deforestation drivers, and integrating adaptive capacity to have a continuously improving model.
Prior to his PhD, Dr. McGregor worked as a research analyst with the Smithsonian’s Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO), and earned degrees from the University of Oxford (MSc) and the University of California Berkeley (BSc). His environmental policy and field experience together span the US, northern Europe, central Africa, and Myanmar with a primary focus in forest ecology.