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Paul Aplin

Associate Professor in Environmental Remote Sensing, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Research Summary

My central research theme is remote sensing of environmental distributions, with particular focus on spatial and temporal scales of observation, methods of land cover characterisation, and… read more

Current Research

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

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 (Scales and dynamics in observing the environment 2006). 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 (Fine spatial resolution satellite sensors 1997). Nonetheless image data can be too coarse to identify target features; though here contemporary super-resolution analysis enables mapping at the sub-pixel scale (Super-resolution bracken mapping 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 (Remote sensing ecology 2005). Applied appropriately, remote sensing offers considerable benefit for analysing ecological distributions and ultimately informing conservation practices (Woody species conservation strategies 2010).

In addition to direct research activity, I engage widely in broader academic service. I am a Council Member of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), holding the post of Chairman until 2010; I am one of the founding members, and the only independent member, of the UK Natural Environment Research Council's (NERC) Earth Observation Forum; and I recently completed a term as Book Series Editor for the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). I am also an editorial board member or guest editor for the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, International Journal of Remote Sensing, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, and Land. I am committed to knowledge exchange, leading NERC's major Earth Observation Technology Cluster initiative, and currently editing a special issue of Remote Sensing on Earth Observation technology.

School of Geography

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham, University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15428
fax: +44 (0)115 95 15249
email: geogenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk