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Research interests

My central research theme is remote sensing of environmental distributions, with particular focus on spatial and temporal scales of observation, methods of land cover characterization, and application to ecological problems, specializing in tropical peatland environments.

I am interested in variation in the natural environment, and how this variation over space and time can be represented using image data and analysis (STARS multitemporal remote sensing 2013). Land cover information, especially with its implications for human land use, is of critical importance for both understanding and managing the global environment and how it changes over time (Remote sensing land cover 2004). Detailed land cover classification has been routinely achievable for over a decade with the current generation of very high resolution sensors (Base mapping 2003). Nonetheless, image data can be too coarse to identify target features; but here contemporary super-resolution analysis enables mapping at the sub-pixel scale (Super-resolution image analysis 2013). Alternatively, where traditional pixel-based approaches over-sample the landscape, object-based image analysis can provide an accurate representation (Object-based landscape analysis 2011). Image classification, and indeed remote sensing as a whole, has often been under-exploited in ecological investigation (Improving tropical peatland estimates 2015). Applied appropriately, remote sensing offers considerable benefit for analyzing ecological distributions and ultimately informing conservation practices (Woody species conservation strategies 2010).


I currently supervise several PhD students: Ibrahim Gumel (urban sprawl monitoring in Nigeria), Nicholas O’Keeffe (dune blow out dynamics in the UK), Maria del Pilar Martin Gallego (species invasion in Chilean temperate forests), Kwame Awuah (grazing lawn ecology in southern African savannahs) and Daniel Knight (coastal dune ecology in the UK) at Edge Hill University; plus Chloe Brown (peat swamp forest conservation) as external supervisor at the University of Nottingham. I also line manage PDRA Dr Chris Marston (malaria risk mapping in the Democratic Republic of Congo).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Geography, PhD, University of Southampton

… → 1999

Environmental Remote Sensing, MSc, University of Aberdeen

… → 1995

Geography, MA, University of Edinburgh

… → 1994

Research Centres

  • Data Science STEM Research Centre


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