20052021

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research focuses on the use of (primarily) remotely sensed data in environmental hazard and risk applications, as well as agriculture. I am particularly interested in the use of land surface parameters and their interactions for the prediction of extreme events, such as a droughts and wildfires.

Some of my recent projects include the validation of new satellite products (especially soil moisture), downscaling of low-resolution satellite products to more relevant spatial scales, studying the soil moisture and atmospheric temperature as drivers of bushfire risks, and the development of a more robust and stable drought index.

Some of the my current projects include deriving vegetation properties from medium-resolution satellites for bushfire spread modelling, relating soil moisture to heatwaves and bushfire conditions, and monitoring the snowpack density in the Himalayas.

Outside of the satellite world, I am coordinating the "Sensors Technologies" research group here at Monash, that is currently developing low-cost microsensor networks for environmental monitoring, looking into applications such as human thermal wellbeing and bushfire risk monitoring, but also to integrate them into a smart city framework.

ResearchGate

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Biography

I have a BE in Civil Engineering from Germany and wrote my final thesis on groundwater contamination flow at a major European airport. My PhD thesis then looked into the use of streamflow data for soil moisture predictions, which ultimately led me to work on satellite derived soil moisture products. At Meteo France and the French Space Agency (CNES), I developed and analysed frameworks for the assimilation of satellite data into land surface models. Upon returning to Australia I led the ground-components of four major airborne campaigns to central Australia and southern New South Wales for the validation of the European Space Agency's Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission.

Since 2011, I hold a position as an academic at Monash, teaching into the 3rd year undergraduate and Masters streams.

Supervision interests

I am always happy to discuss topics for research students related to bushfire risks, vegetation resilience, downscaling, and agricultural applications. Those topics all fall under monitoring a changing environment due to climate change.

Monash teaching commitment

CIV 3264 - Urban and Waster Water Management

CIV 5883 - Surface Hydrology

Academic Progress Committee member

Academic Discipline Panel member

Community service

Deputy Director Research Training

Australian Earth Observation Community Coordination Group (AEOCCG; http://www.aeoccg.org.au/) - Community Plan stearing/writing group member

Australian Energy and Water Exchange Research Initiative (OzEWEX; http://ozewex.org/) - co-lead Observational Data (with Marta Yabra, ANU)

Research area keywords

  • Soil moisture
  • Remote sensing
  • Hydrology
  • Climate change

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