On Tuesday 26th November, we were very lucky to have Mathias Disney at school to teach us about his work with lasers in the jungle. A Professor at UCL, he has spent many years looking at how important trees are to sustaining our planet and he explained that we need to work hard to fully understand them at a time when our planet is being threatened by climate change.

During his lecture, he taught us the different ways which are used to measure the amount of carbon in a tree. He particularly focused on the different ways of measuring the mass and highlighted just how complex this was to achieve. We learnt about different types of trees in different areas of the world and were asked to reflect on what makes a tree a tree - it isn't an easy question to answer!

We then considered things much closer to home and learnt that, according to traditional definitions, London is a forest. It was fascinating to hear the stories of different trees in this urban environment and to learn how important it is that we preserve them as they are under appreciated when it comes to storing carbon. He also explored the link between green space and health and this raises lots of questions about how we value different trees.

The lecture was extremely interesting and we all learnt a lot more about a subject that we don’t address in our everyday school lessons.

Amelia (Year 12)