Dr Kevin Tansey

Dr Kevin TanseyReader in Remote Sensing

Contact Details

  • Tel: 0116 252 3859
  • Email: kjt7@le.ac.uk
  • Fax: 0116 252 3854
  • Office: Bennett Building F58

Research Interests

My research interests are in the analysis and exploitation of Earth Observation data to investigate the spatial distribution and magnitude of vegetation disturbance (specifically fire, deforestation, degredation and drainage) at a range of spatial scales using existing and new SAR, LiDAR and optical remote sensing data. Furthermore, I am interested in mapping vegetation fires at the global scale. I have published 25 journal papers in a career spanning 15 years since commencing my PhD. I have successfully supervised six PhD students. I have been involved in a number of projects that support these research interests, GIONET, ESA CCI - Fire ECV, GBA2000, EC L3JRC, EC FP7 Geoland2, ESA VAE - Systematic Wide Area Forest Monitoring in Indonesia, ESA DUP - GlobCarbon, and EC FP4 SIBERIA-I.

External Activities

  • Affiliated member of the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO).
  • Member of the Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate (TOPC) which is part of the Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS) and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).
  • Member of the Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD) Fire Implementation Team. GOFC-GOLD is a coordinated international program designed to provide ongoing space-based and in-situ observations related to forests and other land cover.
  • CEOS Land Product Validation (LPV) subgroup co-chair for burned area.
  • I am a principal investigator for projects using ALOS PALSAR (JAXA), DMC, TerraSar-X and ESA data.
  • Peer reviewer for the Natural Environment Research Council.
  • Article reviewer for International Journal of Remote Sensing, Geophysical Research Letters, Remote Sensing of Environment, IEEE Transactions in Geoscience and Remote Sensing, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Global Change Biology, Computers and Geosciences, Journal of Biogeography, Biogeosciences, International Journal of Wildland Fire.
  • External examiner at UCL (London), Reading, Salford, Nottingham, Swansea, Newcastle, University College Cork (Ireland) and Zaragoza (Spain).
  • Visiting scientist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (autumn 2006).


  • GIONET: GMES Initial Operations Network for Earth Observation Research Training (GIONET), January 2011 (48 months).
  • ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) - Fire ECV, September 2010 (36 months).
  • Geoland2: Operational Monitoring Services for our Changing Environment, European Commission FP7, September 2008 (50 months).
  • ESA VAE Action: systematic wide area monitoring of tropical forests at high resolution, European Space Agency, April 2009 (24 months).

PhD Supervision


  • Stephen Grebby - 'Evaluation of airborne laser scanner data for mineral mapping in Cyprus (NERC CAse studentship with the BGS)' with Dr Dickson Cunningham and based in the Department of Geology (October 2007).
  • Matthew Waldram - 'Application of remote sensing to monitor tropical deforestation: impacts on tropical carbon balance' with Dr. Sue Page (October 2008).
  • Sarah Owen - 'Geological origins of sugar loaf peaks in eastern Brazil and their environmental importance as refugia for Atlantic rain forest biodiversity' with Dr. Dickson Cunningham in Geology and Dr. Juan-Carlos Berrio (October 2009)
  • Mustafa Kose - 'Improving the retrieval of lidar-derived building volume data for population estimation' with Dr. Nick Tate (October 2010)
  • Paul Arellano - 'Detection of vegetation stress caused by hydrocarbon influence in the Amazon tropical forest' with Prof. Heiko Balzter (January 2011)
  • Claire Burwell - '3D visualization of three-dimensional laser scanner data to aid understanding of the urban and rural environment' with Dr. Claire Jarvis (January 2011)
  • Abdel-Rahman Al-Shabeeb - 'The use of GIS in selecting potential sites for groundwater recharge sites in the basalt aquifer Azraq basin Jordan' with Prof. Peter Fisher (January 2011)


  • Matthew Adepoju - 'Monitoring urbanization in Lagos, Nigeria using remote sensing and GIS' - awarded PhD in 2007.
  • Amir Alwan - 'Mapping bracken boundaries using remotely sensed data and GIS' - awarded MPhil in 2008.
  • Agata Hoscilo - 'Fire regime, vegetation dynamics and land cover change in tropical peatland, Indonesia' - awarded PhD in 2010.
  • Cici Alexander - 'Classification of full-waveform airborne laser scanning data and extraction of attributes of vegetation for topographic mapping' - awarded PhD in 2010.
  • Sultan Al-Harbi - 'Suitability of DEMs derived from SAR interferometry and ASTER stereoscopy for mapping topographic structure within a GIS environment' - awarded PhD in 2010.
  • Milton Romero-Ruiz - 'Influence of land use, climate and topography on the fire regime in the eastern savannas of Colombia' - awarded PhD in 2011.
  • Bashar Dahdal - 'The use of interferometric spaceborne radar and GIS to measure peat subsidence in Indonesia' - awarded PhD in 2011.

Research Areas for PhD Supervision

Research Areas for PhD Supervision includes optical, lidar and radar remote sensing for vegetation disturbance mapping and monitoring.

Enquiries: If you are interested in studying for a PhD in one of these research areas, please make informal enquiries via mailto:geogPhD@le.ac.uk, subject: Research Enquiry for Kevin Tansey.

Most Recent Publications

Burwell, C., Jarvis, C. & Tansey, K. (2012): The potential for using 3D visualization for data exploration, error correction and analysis of LiDAR point clouds, Remote Sensing Letters, 3:6, 481-490

Hoscilo, A., Page S.E, Tansey, K., Rieley J.O., 2011, Effect of repeated fires on land-cover change on peatland in southern Central Kalimantan, Indonesia, from 1973 to 2005. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 20, 578–588, doi: 10.1071/WF10029

Grebby, S., Naden, J., Cunningham, D., and Tansey, K., 2011, Integrating airborne multispectral imagery and airborne LiDAR data for enhanced lithological mapping in vegetated terrain. Remote Sensing of Environment, 115, 214-226, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2010.08.019.

Romero-Ruiz, M., Etter, A., Sarmiento, A., and Tansey, K., 2010, Spatial and temporal variability of fires in relation to ecosystems, land tenure and rainfall in savannas of northern South America. Global Change Biology, 16: 2013–2023, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02081.x.

Alexander, C., Tansey, K., Kaduk, J., Holland, D., and Tate, N., 2010, Backscatter coefficient as an attribute for the classification of full-waveform airborne laser scanning data in urban areas. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 65, 423-432, doi: 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2010.05.002.

Grebby, S., Cunningham, D., Naden, J., and Tansey, K., 2010, Lithological mapping of the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus, using airborne LiDAR topographic data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 114, 713-724, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2009.11.006.

Full listing of publications

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