My main area of research is 'Geohazards, Land Degradation and Earth Observation'. My group focuses on applied use of earth observation and spatio-dynamic modelling of hazardous and land degradation processes and ecosystem performance. Geohazards and land degradation refers to processes that are a threat to our society and/or reduce the capacity of an ecosystem to deliver goods and services. Such processes include soil erosion, wind erosion, physical degradation (loss of structure, crusting), flooding, mass movements, salinization, impoverishment of the (natural) vegetation and/or reduced productivity of ecosystems in terms of biomass.

Spatio-dynamic modelling of land degradation processes helps to increase our understanding of these complex processes and to predict future developments due to climate change, sea-leve rise or human interference.

Earth observation imagery provides synoptic views of landscapes and time-series of images show changes at the earth surface. These images are valuable sources of information for Earth scientists. Spectral domains include the optical, microwave and thermal part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Platforms that we use are satellites, aircrafts, drones, and field instruments (spectrometers, laser scanners). We develop algorithms for optimal information extraction and image interpretation. These methods include spectral analysis and object-based image analysis.

Field work is always important to understand the complexity of environmental processes, hazards and land degradation. We have research & educational field work sites in The Netherlands, France (the Peyne catchment in the Hérault & the Buëch catchment in the Hautes Alpes), Africa (Ethiopia) and Asia (Langtang catchment in Nepal).

Launching our drone for surveying the Lirung glacier, Nepal

Fieldwork 'Bubonic Plague Mapping using Remote Sensing' on the Steppes of Kazakhstan
Head of Department Chair in Physical Geography with emphasis on Natural Hazards, Land Degradation, Earth Observation and Geo-computation.
Inaugural lecture date