I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation. My research and teaching activities concentrate on the application of satellite image time series for the understanding, mapping, and monitoring of dynamic natural resources. I predominantly analyze changes in agricultural and natural vegetation cover to infer relevant information. This information can then be applied for improved understanding of the effects of environmental change (e.g. climate), or for more efficient natural resource management. Besides a direct focus on societally-relevant applications, I also have a more fundamental interest in assessing the potential of new satellite sensors, particularly those with a high repeat frequency, for monitoring vegetation seasonality at fine spatial scales. My main focus areas include:
- vegetation phenology, including at fine spatial resolution;
- agricultural drought monitoring and prediction, for example in the framework of index insurance programs;
- interaction between livestock and the environment in rangelands.
Before joining the University of Twente in 2009, I obtained two MSc's and a PhD from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. The MSc's were obtained in the fields of 'Tropical Land Use' and 'Geo-information Science' in 2001. My PhD was on the use of satellite data for soil erosion studies, and was completed in 2007. Between 2007 and 2009, I worked at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Ispra, Italy).
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Since 2009 I teach in the Faculty ITC, and prior to that I taught at Wageningen University (2001-2006). I have contributed to a wide variety of courses, generally for international classrooms. My teaching activities focus on the application of satellite image time series for the understanding, mapping, and monitoring of dynamic natural resources. These activities comprise:
- lecturing in courses on remote sensing, environmental monitoring (mostly related to vegetation), and natural resource management;
- design and coordination of courses related to e.g. remote sensing of vegetation phenology, drought monitoring, natural resource management;
- design and supervision of case studies for challenge-based learning;
- development of online courses in the frameworks of FAO E-learning, the EU-funded GeoNetC project, and the online MSc-programme iGEON;
- supervision of >40 MSc students for their Master's thesis (besides PhD supervision);
- individual mentoring in the MSE programme to facilitate students in defining and managing their own learning goals and pathways.