Max Planck Gesellschaft

Javier Pacheco-Labrador

PostDoc: Biosphere-Atmosphere Interactions and Experimentation
room: C 1.022a
phone: +49 3641 576242
email: jpacheco(at)

Professional background

  • Postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry – Department of Biogeochemical Integration, Jena, Germany.
  • Associated Researcher at the SpecLab-CSIC.
  • Senior Researcher (Project Leader Assistant) at Fundación Centro de Estudios Ambientales del Mediterráneo (CEAM)
  • PhD in Geographical Information Technologies, SpecLab–CSIC / University of Alcalá (Thesis: Automated proximal sensing for estimation of the bidirectional reflectance distribution function in a Mediterranean tree-grass ecosystem).
  • Research assistant: Environmental Remote Sensing and Spectroscopy Laboratory (SpecLab–CSIC), Madrid, Spain.
  • MSc Geographical Information Technologies, University of Alcalá.

My work at BGI

I am interested in characterizing vegetation and ecosystem properties from space using model-driven approaches. The challenge is that connections between these properties and remotely sensed radiation is not always direct or strong. To solve this problem, I rely on radiative transfer models coupled with SVAT or ecosystem models to establish formal connections between both. The overarching goal is to develop a new generation of remote sensing algorithms capable of monitoring new dimensions of ecosystems' state and responses.

In the project MoReDEHESHyReS, I developed multiple-constraint data assimilation methods to characterize Essential Biodiversity Variables in ecosystem stations combining different remote sensing signals and eddy covariance fluxes. I also developed the model senSCOPE. In the new project oBEF-Accross2, I used radiative transfer model simulations to decipher how functional diversity codifies in remote sensing signals and created normalized metrics comparable across remote sensing missions and field datasets. I currently assess the potential of physiologically-driven spectral signals to predict gross primary production in the project AustroSIF.

In addition, I collaborate with multiple researchers to acquire, interpret, and model spectral information in the context of vegetation studies. I am also vice-leader of the Working Group 1 of the COST Action CA17143 SENSECO, where I coordinate the Spatial Scaling Challenge (open until the end of October 2022!).

Research Interests

  • Radiation and vegetation and photosynthesis.
  • Remote sensing of vegetation photosynthesis, structure and traits.
  • Radiative transfer-biogeochemical models coupling
  • Hyperspectral, chlorophyll sun-induced fluorescence, photochemical reflectance index, thermal radiation
  • Machine learning and hybrid model inversion
  • EnMap Mission and data simulation
  • Multi-angular proximal and remote sensing
  • Automated proximal sensing, system development, sensor characterization and data processing



  • Luo, Y., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Richardson, A.D., Seyednasrollah, B., Perez-Priego, O., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Martín, M.P., Moreno, G., Nair, R., Wutzler, T., Bucher, S.F., Carrara, A., Cremonese, E., El-Madany, T.S., Filippa, G., Galvagno, M., Hammer, T., Ma, X., Martini, D., Zhang, Q., Reichstein, M., Menzel, A., Römermann, C., & Migliavacca, M. (2022). Evergreen broadleaf greenness and its relationship with leaf flushing, aging, and water fluxes. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 323, 109060. link
  • Martini, D., Sakowska, K., Wohlfahrt, G., Pacheco-Labrador, J., van der Tol, C., Porcar-Castell, A., Magney, T.S., Carrara, A., Colombo, R., El-Madany, T.S., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Martín, M.P., Julitta, T., Moreno, G., Rascher, U., Reichstein, M., Rossini, M., & Migliavacca, M. (2022). Heatwave breaks down the linearity between sun-induced fluorescence and gross primary production. New Phytologist. link


  • Biriukova*, K., Pacheco-Labrador*, J., Migliavacca, M., Mahecha, M.D., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Martín, M.P., & Rossini, M. (2021). Performance of Singular Spectrum Analysis in Separating Seasonal and Fast Physiological Dynamics of Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence and PRI Optical Signals. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 126, e2020JG006158 link
  • Zhang, Q., Chen, J.M., Ju, W., Zhang, Y., Li, Z., He, L., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Li, J., Qiu, B., Zhang, X., Qiu, F., Chen, B., Chou, S., Zhang, Z., & Shan, N. (2021). Ground-Based Multiangle Solar-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence Observation and Angular Normalization for Assessing Crop Productivity. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 126, e2020JG006082 link
  • El-Madany, T.S., Reichstein, M., Carrara, A., Martín, M.P., Moreno, G., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Peñuelas, J., Ellsworth, D.S., Burchard-Levine, V., Hammer, T.W., Knauer, J., Kolle, O., Luo, Y., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Nelson, J.A., Perez-Priego, O., Rolo, V., Wutzler, T., & Migliavacca, M. (2021). How Nitrogen and Phosphorus Availability Change Water Use Efficiency in a Mediterranean Savanna Ecosystem. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 126, e2020JG006005 link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., El-Madany, T.S., van der Tol, C., Martin, M.P., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Perez-Priego, O., Guan, J., Moreno, G., Carrara, A., Reichstein, M., & Migliavacca, M. (2021). senSCOPE: Modeling mixed canopies combining green and brown senesced leaves. Evaluation in a Mediterranean Grassland. Remote Sensing of Environment, 257, 112352 link
* Related code (updated on the 26th April 2021)
  • Bogdanovich, E., Perez-Priego, O., El-Madany, T.S., Guderle, M., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Levick, S.R., Moreno, G., Carrara, A., Pilar Martín, M., & Migliavacca, M. (2021). Using terrestrial laser scanning for characterizing tree structural parameters and their changes under different management in a Mediterranean open woodland. Forest Ecology and Management, 486, 118945 link


  • El-Madany, T.S., Carrara, A., Martín, M.P., Moreno, G., Kolle, O., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Weber, U., Wutzler, T., Reichstein, M., & Migliavacca, M. (2020). Drought and heatwave impacts on semi-arid ecosystems' carbon fluxes along a precipitation gradient. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 375, 20190519 link
  • Luo, Y., El-Madany, T., Ma, X., Nair, R., Jung, M., Weber, U., Filippa, G., Bucher, S.F., Moreno, G., Cremonese, E., Carrara, A., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Cáceres Escudero, Y., Galvagno, M., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Martín, M.P., Perez-Priego, O., Reichstein, M., Richardson, A.D., Menzel, A., Römermann, C., & Migliavacca, M. (2020). Nutrients and water availability constrain the seasonality of vegetation activity in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Global Change Biology, 26, 4379-4400 link
  • Martín, M.P., Pacheco-Labrador, J., González-Cascón, R., Moreno, G., Migliavacca, M., García, M., Yebra, M., & Riaño, D. (2020). Estimation of essential vegetation variables in a dehesa ecosystem using reflectance factors simulated at different phenological stages. Revista de Teledetección, No 55 (2020) link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., El-Madany, T.S., Martin, M.P., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Carrara, A., Moreno, G., Perez-Priego, O., Hammer, T., Moossen, H., Henkel, K., Kolle, O., Martini, D., Burchard, V., van der Tol, C., Segl, K., Reichstein, M., & Migliavacca, M. (2020). Combining hyperspectral remote sensing and eddy covariance data streams for estimation of vegetation functional traits. Biogeosciences Discuss., 2020, 1-38 link
  • Biriukova, K., Celesti, M., Evdokimov, A., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Julitta, T., Migliavacca, M., Giardino, C., Miglietta, F., Colombo, R., Panigada, C., & Rossini, M. (2020). Effects of varying solar-view geometry and canopy structure on solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and PRI. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 89, 102069. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., J., El-Madany, T.S., van der Tol, C., Martín, M.P., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Perez-Priego, O., Guan, J., Moreno, G., Carrara, A., Reichstein, M., & Migliavacca, M. (2020). senSCOPE: Modeling radiative transfer and biochemical processes in mixed canopies combining green and senescent leaves with SCOPE. bioRxiv, 2020.2002.2005.935064. link


  • Martini, D., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Perez-Priego, O., van der Tol, C., Madany, T.S.E., Julitta, T., Rossini, M., Reichstein, M., Christiansen, R., Rascher, U., Moreno, G., Martín, M.P., Yang, P., Carrara, A., Guan, J., González-Cascón, R., & Migliavacca, M. (2019). Nitrogen and Phosphorus effect on Sun-Induced Fluorescence and Gross Primary Productivity in Mediterranean Grassland. Remote Sensing, 11. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., Perez-Priego, O., El-Madany, T.S., Julitta, T., Rossini, M., Guan, J., Moreno, G., Carvalhais, N., Martín, M.P., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Kolle, O., Reischtein, M., van der Tol, C., Carrara, A., Martini, D., Hammer, T.W., Moossen, H., & Migliavacca, M. (2019). Multiple-constraint inversion of SCOPE. Evaluating the potential of GPP and SIF for the retrieval of plant functional traits. Remote Sensing of Environment, 234, 111362. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., Hueni, A., Mihai, L., Sakowska, K., Julitta, T., Kuusk, J., Sporea, D., Alonso, L., Burkart, A., Cendrero-Mateo, M.P., Aasen, H., Goulas, Y., & Mac Arthur, A. (2019). Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence I: Instrumental Considerations for Proximal Spectroradiometers. Remote Sensing, 11, 960. link
  • Cendrero-Mateo, M.P., Wieneke, S., Damm, A., Alonso, L., Pinto, F., Moreno, J., Guanter, L., Celesti, M., Rossini, M., Sabater, N., Cogliati, S., Julitta, T., Rascher, U., Goulas, Y., Aasen, H., Pacheco-Labrador, J., & Arthur, A.M. (2019). Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence III: Benchmarking Retrieval Methods and Sensor Characteristics for Proximal Sensing. Remote Sensing, 11, 962. link
  • Aasen, H., Van Wittenberghe, S., Medina, N.S., Damm, A., Goulas, Y., Wieneke, S., Hueni, A., Malenovský, Z., Alonso, L., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Cendrero-Mateo, M.P., Tomelleri, E., Burkart, A., Cogliati, S., Rascher, U., & Arthur, A.M. (2019). Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence II: Review of Passive Measurement Setups, Protocols, and Their Application at the Leaf to Canopy Level. Remote Sensing, 11, 927. link


  • Melendo-Vega, J., Martín, M., Pacheco-Labrador, J., González-Cascón, R., Moreno, G., Pérez, F., Migliavacca, M., García, M., North, P., & Riaño, D. (2018). Improving the Performance of 3-D Radiative Transfer Model FLIGHT to Simulate Optical Properties of a Tree-Grass Ecosystem. Remote Sensing, 10, 2061. link
  • El-Madany, T.S., Reichstein, M., Perez-Priego, O., Carrara, A., Moreno, G., Pilar Martín, M., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Wohlfahrt, G., Nieto, H., Weber, U., Kolle, O., Luo, Y.-P., Carvalhais, N., & Migliavacca, M. (2018). Drivers of spatio-temporal variability of carbon dioxide and energy fluxes in a Mediterranean savanna ecosystem. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 262, 258-278. link
  • Luo, Y., El-Madany, T., Filippa, G., Ma, X., Ahrens, B., Carrara, A., Gonzalez-Cascon, R., Cremonese, E., Galvagno, M., Hammer, T., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Martín, M., Moreno, G., Perez-Priego, O., Reichstein, M., Richardson, A., Römermann, C., & Migliavacca, M. (2018). Using Near-Infrared-Enabled Digital Repeat Photography to Track Structural and Physiological Phenology in Mediterranean Tree–Grass Ecosystems. Remote Sensing, 10, 1293. link


  • Melendo-Vega, J.R., Martín, M.P., Vilar del Hoyo, L., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Echavarría, P., & Martínez-Vega, J., (2017). Estimation of grassland biophysical parameters in a “dehesa” ecosystem from field spectroscopy and airborne hyperspectral imagery. Revista de Teledetección, [S.l.], n. 48, p. 13-28, June 2017. ISSN 1988-8740. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., J. El-Madany, T.S., Martín, M.P., Migliavacca, M., Rossini, M., Carrara, A., & Zarco-Tejada, P., (2017). Spatio-Temporal Relationships between Optical Information and Carbon Fluxes in a Mediterranean Tree-Grass Ecosystem. Remote Sensing, 9, 608. link
  • Migliavacca M., Perez-Priego O., Rossini M., El-Madany T.S., Moreno G., Van der Tol C., Rascher U., Berninger A., Bessenbacher V., Carrara A., Fava F., Guan J.H., Hammer T.W., Henkel K., Juarez-Alcalde E., Julitta T., Kolle O., Martín M.P., Musavi T., Pacheco-Labrador J., Pérez-Burgueño A., Wutzler T., Zaehle S. and Reichstein M., (2017). Plant functional traits and canopy structure control the relationship between photosynthetic CO2 uptake and far-red sun-induced fluorescence in a Mediterranean grassland under different nutrient availability. New Phytologist. link
  • Perez-Priego O., El-Madany T.S., Migliavaca M., Kowalski A.S., Jung M., Carrara A., Kolle O., Martin M.P., Pacheco-Labrador J., Moreno G. and Reichstein M., (2017) Evaluation of eddy covariance latent heat fluxes with independent lysimeter and sapflow estimates in a Mediterranean savannah ecosystem. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 236, 87-99. link


  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., Martín. M.P., Riaño, D., Hilker, T. and Carrara, A., (2016). New approaches in multi-angular proximal sensing of vegetation: Accounting for spatial heterogeneity and diffuse radiation in directional reflectance distribution models. Remote Sensing of Environment, 187, 447-457. link
  • González-Cascón, R., Pacheco-Labrador, J. and Martín, M.P., (2016). Evolution of spectral behavior and chemical composition in the tree canopy of a dehesa ecosystem. Revista de Teledetección, [S.l.], n. 46, p. 31-43, june 2016. ISSN 1988-8740. link


  • Fernández, D., Martín, M.P., Vilar, L. and Pacheco-Labrador, J., (2015). Estimación del contenido de humedad de la vegetacion a partir de imágenes hiperespectrales adquiridas por el sensor aeroportado CASI (Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager). Geofocus (Artículos), 16, 177-204. link
  • Porcar-Castell, A., Arthur, A.M., Rossini, M., Eklundh, L., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Anderson, K., Balzarolo, M., Martín, M.P., Jin, H., Tomelleri, E., Cerasoli, S., Sakowska, K., Hueni, A., Julitta, T., Nichol, C.J. and Vescovo, L., (2015). At the interface between eddy covariance and remote sensing measurements in Europe. Biogeosciences, 12, 6103-6124. link
  • Mendiguren, G., Martín, M.P., Nieto, H., Pacheco-Labrador, J. and Jurdao, S., (2015). Seasonal variation in vegetation water content estimated from proximal sensing and MODIS time series in a Mediterranean Fluxnet site, Biogeosciences, 12, 5523-5535. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., Martín, M., (2015). Characterization of a Field Spectroradiometer for Unattended Vegetation Monitoring. Key Sensor Models and Impacts on Reflectance, Sensors, 15, 4154-4175. link


  • Timmermans, W., Van der Tol, C., Timmermans, J., Ucer, M., Chen, X., Alonso, L., Moreno, J., Carrara, A., Lopez, R., de la Cruz Tercero, F., Corcoles, H., de Miguel, E., Sanchez, J.G., Pérez, I., Franch, B., Munoz, J.-C., Skokovic, D., Sobrino, J., Soria, G., MacArthur, A., Vescovo, L., Reusen, I., Andreu, A., Burkart, A., Cilia, C., Contreras, S., Corbari, C., Calleja, J., Guzinski, R., Hellmann, C., Herrmann, I., Kerr, G., Lazar, A.-L., Leutner, B., Mendiguren, G., Nasilowska, S., Nieto, H., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Pulanekar, S., Raj, R., Schikling, A., Siegmann, B., von Bueren, S. and Su, Z., (2014). An overview of the regional experiments for land-atmosphere exchanges 2012 (REFLEX 2012) campaign, Acta Geophys., 1-20. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., Ferrero, A., Martín, M.P., (2014). Characterizing integration time and gray-level-related nonlinearities in a NMOS sensor, Appl. Opt., 53, 7778-7786. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J. and Martin, M.P., (2014). Nonlinear Response in a Field Portable Spectroradiometer: Characterization and Effects on Output Reflectance, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on, 52, 920-928. link
  • Pacheco-Labrador, J., González-Cascón, R., Martín, M.P., Riaño, D., (2014). Understanding the optical responses of leaf nitrogen in Mediterranean Holm oak (Quercus ilex) using field spectroscopy, International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 26, 105-118. link
  • Durá Candela, E., Mendiguren González, G., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Martín Isabel, M.P., Riaño, D., Iturrate García, M., Gimeno Cólera C., and Carrara, A., (2014). Validación de productos MODIS relacionados con la estimación de flujos de carbono en un ecosistema de dehesa., Geofocus (Artículos), 13, 291-310. link


  • Anderson, K., Rossini, M., Pacheco-Labrador, J., Balzarolo, M., Mac Arthur, A., Fava, F., Julitta, T. and Vescovo, L., (2013). Inter-comparison of hemispherical conical reflectance factors (HCRF) measured with four fibre-based spectrometers, Opt. Express, 21, 605-617. link
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