Remote sensing and photogrammetry

Our research focus is on applying remote sensing technologies to environment studies. In particular we focus on providing useful tools to implement environmental policies and decision-making.

We lead research in the use of remotely sensed data, in situ observations (fieldwork - surveying) and associated modelling to measure, map and monitor the biophysical attributes of terrestrial environments. We also specialise in metric measurements from imagery: vision metrology.

Our research seeks to provide applied remote sensing solutions to inform contemporary terrestrial ecosystems monitoring and reporting. Current large projects include new techniques to describe the fundamental properties of forests (CRC for Spatial Information) and wildfire surveillance / disaster landscape attribution (Bushfire and Natural Hazard CRC). 

Current research activities

  • Terrestrial ecosystem monitoring and reporting
  • CALVAL / in situ observations and image validation
  • Land cover and land use change
  • Sustaining agricultural production
  • Resource and environmental monitoring
  • Digital photogrammetry
  • Habitat mapping, ecosystem assessment


Facilities and equipment

  • 9 dedicated image processing workstations and two 25-seat laboratories
  • Software: ERDAS IMAGINE, ENVI-IDL, Intergraph Image station, Definiens-eCognition, Terrascan,  Matlab, Agisoft
  • Two ASD full width spectral radiometers (0.4-2.4um), integrating sphere
  • Three aerial camera systems including Redlake / Duncantech aerial camera
  • FLIR thermal camera A325
  • Canon EOS 5D, 20D and Nikon D50 and Calibration Frames
  • 9m helium filled remote controlled airship for mobile platform observations
  • DGI S1000 and Phantom-II UAS
  • 10m hydraulic mast
  • Climate controlled chamber for growing botanical samples
  • Terrestrial Laser Scanning System
  • Riegl fullwave form aerial LIDAR system (co-owned as part of a consortium)


Academic staff

  • Associate Professor Chris Bellman
  • Professor Simon Jones
  • Dr Karin Reinke
  • Professor Mark Shortis

Post-doctoral research fellows

  • Dr Mariela Soto-Berelov
  • Dr Sofia Oliveira
  • Dr Lola Suarez
  • Dr Luke Wallace

Honorary Fellows

  • Dr Rob Hewson

Technical staff

  • Laurie Buxton

Past team members (current affiliation)

  • Dr Rakhesh Devedas (University of Technology Sydney)
  • Dr Jelle Ferwerda  (University of Twente, the Netherlands, University of Oxford, UK)
  • Mr Grant Dickins (Senior Geospatial Consultant, Coffey Consulting)
  • Dr Elizabeth Farmer (University Edinburgh)
  • Dr Rama Rao Nidamanuri (Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology)

Current PhD students

  • Bryan Hally
  • Vaibhav Gupta
  • Jing Liu
  • Margaret McFadyen
  • Fiona Madden
  • Andrew Mellor
  • Simon Mitchell
  • Zhihui Wang
  • Phil Wilkes

Past PhD students

Dr Syed Ali
Topic: Pixel and feature level fusions of aerial imagery with LiDAR data for landscape object extraction
Now at: Defence Imagery and Geospatial Organisation, (Australian Department of Defence)

Dr Nichola Broderick (nee Malloy)
Topic: Tactical imagery and geospatial data support options for automatic target acquisition
Now at: Defence Science and Technology Organisation, (Australian Department of Defence)

Dr Alex Lechner
Topic: Scale in remote sensing and its impact on landscape ecology
Now at: University of Queensland, University of Tasmania

Dr Yin Lee
Topic: Measurement of snow depth and snow water equivalence using remote sensing
Now at: Ultimate Positioning, Victoria, Australia

Dr Danielle Martin
Topic: Development of satellite vegetation indices to assess grassland curing
Now at: Country Fire Authority, Victoria, Australia

Dr Geoffrey McCamley
Topic: Characterising vegetation structure using MODIS multi-angular data

Dr Naoko Miura
Topic: The utility of LiDAR for landscape biodiversity assessment
Now at: University of Tokyo

Dr Barbara Rasaiah
Topic: Towards a metadata standard for field spectroscopy datasets
Now at: National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (US NOAA)

Dr Koel Roychowdhury
Topic: Assessing the utility of DMSP-OLS night-time images to propose surrogate census
Now at: United Nations University, Tokyo

Dr Katherine Sheffield
Topic: Multi-spectral remote sensing of native vegetation condition
Now at: Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia

Dr Andreia de Ávila Siqueira
Topic: simulating impacts of climatic anomalies and landuse change on the fire occurrence in the Brazilian amazon forest
Now at: Geoscience Australia

Dr Susanne Thulin
Topic: Hyperspectral remote sensing of temperate pasture quality
Now at: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden / Brockmann Geomatics Sweden

Dr Will Woodgate
Topic: Accuracy and uncertainty in Leaf Area Index retrieval in Australian forested ecosystems
Now at: CSIRO Canberra


  • Dr Alex Held (CSIRO/TERN)
  • Dr Tim Mathus (CSIRO)
  • Dr Eva van Gorsel (CSIRO)
  • Dr Jenny.Lovell (CSIRO)
  • Dr Ian Grant (Bureau of Meteorology)
  • Dr Danielle Marin (CFA)
  • Andreas German aerospace DLR (Deutsches Zentrum Für Luft - Und Raumfahrt E.V.)
  • Dr Andrew Haywood (FAO / European Commission / DELWP)
  • Dr Shanti Reddi (Department of Environment)
  • Professor Stuart Phinn (TERN / University of Queensland)
  • Professor Andrew Skidmore ITC (International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation - University of Twente)

Undertake a research degree

Prospective Higher Degree by Research applicants should contact one of our academic or post-doc members to discuss supervision of a research project.

Related research degrees

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.