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Mikkel Brydegaard

By formation, I am electrical engineer with a doctorate in atomic physics, more precisely I have specialized in optical measurement techniques, applied laser spectroscopy, biophotonics and remote sensing. I spend much of my career trying to develop quantitative surveillance tools for aerofauna, birds, bats and in particular insects, but I also work with monitoring aquatic environments and vegetation structures. Being at the Engineering faculty, I am crafty with mechanics, optics, electronics and programming. I do an effort of making instruments which are simple and robust enough to be deployed in field and deliver consistent data. I call this realistic instrumentation, a central theme in a series of African research schools where I teach. In particular I invented the Scheimpflug laser radar method. The method enables to resolve the atmosphere with unpreceded resolution in time and space, this allow to profile insect activity over the landscape for transects up to a couple of kilometers. Because of the rapid sampling we are able to determine the wing beat frequency and harmonic spectrum which can give clue on the insect target identity. In order to accomplish the best species classification performance, I try to understand the details of light interaction with insects on a microscopic level. I use this knowledge and try to exploit polarimetric and spectral properties of light scattered from insects to increase the certainty of identification. We can also infer other properties such as flight heading and weather preferences.

Lidar beam
Near-infrared photograph of the entomological lidar beam, a trace from a transiting insect can be seen.

We typically make tens of thousands observation per hour and use advanced statistical methods and clustering to interpret data. We are able to see fine details of insect activity in relation to topographical features or narrow diurnal niches. The applications include monitoring of agricultural and forestry pest, pollinator biodiversity and disease vectors. We have various instruments in Lund and a number of collaborators in the tropics, I am always open to discuss or facilitate new collaborations and applications.

data from lidar
A fraction of the data from a field campaign displaying various insects with distinct modulation signatures.


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database



Retrieved from Lund University's publications database


Retrieved from Lund University's publications database

E-mail: mikkel [dot] brydegaard [at] forbrf [dot] lth [dot] se

Associate senior lecturer

Combustion Physics

+46 46 222 76 57



Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden