Dr Karen Anderson
Associate Professor in Remote Sensing


Current research: My research is concerned with answering critical questions about landscape function using spatial and structural indicators as proxies. I use high precision, validated RS data and novel methods of analysis to improve functional understanding of ecological and mountain systems. My remote sensing research has been complemented collaborative in situ data collection campaigns which have involved: hydrological monitoring, geomorphological and ecological survey, and gas flux measurements. I work predominantly in non-forest systems where vegetation and/or land surface pattern and volumetric structure provides a useful proxy for function.

Expertise: My PhD was focused on developing proximal sensing and spectroradiometric approaches for calibrating and validating coarser-grained remote sensing (RS) data through which I gained a deep critical understanding of the physical aspects of RS. My research now addresses questions about the relationships between spatial pattern, volumetric structure and ecosystem function in vegetated systems using RS observations, in situ data and spatial modelling. I work extensively with RS data of all types, from satellite observations to airborne and terrestrial laser scanning, and spectroscopy. With my DroneLab research group, I have pioneered the use of lightweight drones for spatial ecological research, with a particular focus on spatial modelling of vegetation structure in wetland, grass and shrub ecosystems. I have undertaken a range of practical research developing drone sensing methodologies, the latter which has led to me producing the first spatial estimates of shrub biomass in drylands using drone-based SfM photogrammetry methods.

Supervision: I currently manage a team comprising postdoctoral, doctoral and MbyRes researchers. I have supervised 7 PhD students to successful completion, all of whom have published peer-reviewed papers during their research projects.

I a geographer and I work also within the Geography Department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

You can find my Google Scholar account here.

My personal webpages can be accessed here.

I'm on twitter @KAnderson_RS

You can find out more by watching a two-minute video of me explaining my work.


2005 PhD Geography (University of Southampton)
1999 BSc Environmental Science (University of Southampton, First Class Hons)


2016 Associate Professor, University of Exeter
2010 Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter 
2004-2010 Lecturer, University of Exeter 
2000-2002 Manager of the NERC Equipment Pool for Field Spectroscopy, University of Southampton
2000-2002 Remote sensing consultancy, GeoData Institute


Contact details

Tel+44 (0) 1326 371854
AddressEnvironment and Sustainability Institute
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

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