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 investigation of Earth Observation data. I am particularly interested in the characterising vegetation on the Earth's surface and identifying the spatial, temporal and magnitude of disturbance (specifically fire, deforestation, degradation and drainage) of vegetation. I undertake these tasks at a range of spatial scales using existing and new SAR, LiDAR and optical remotely sensed data from the ground, aircraft or satellites in space. I have published 32 journal papers in a career spanning 18 years since commencing my PhD in 1995. I have successfully supervised 9 PhD students and currently supervise a further 12. I have been involved in a number of projects that support these research interests. I have also worked with industry on a number of collaborative and consultancy project (see below). I was extensively involved in a Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 impact case study where my research into global vegetation fire mapping and fire disturbances in Indonesian Peatlands has wider societal and economic benefits. 


  • I am an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Remote Sensing (IJRS)
  • I am a contributing author to Chapter 2 (Drained Inland Organic Soils) of the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands.
  • I am a Member of the Terrestrial Observation Panel for Climate (TOPC). TOPC is jointly sponsored by the UN WMO Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) and by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) of the United Nations (UN) World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • I am a Member of the Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics Fire Implementation Team (GOFC-GOLD Fire IT). GOFC-GOLD is a coordinated international program designed to provide on-going space-based and in-situ observations related to forests and other land cover
  • I am a member of the Committee of Earth Observation Satellites (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
  • 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, Environment Research Letters, Remote Sensing (Open Access Journal), Land (Open Access Journal), International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Ecological Indicators, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, International Journal of Earth Sciences, Journal of Maps
  • I am Guest Editor of a Special Issue in the journal Remote Sensing (Open Access Journals) on the topic of 'Quantifying the Environmental Impact of Forest Fires' following the hugely successful 9th EARSeL Forest Fire Special Interest Group Workshop, held at Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire (UK) in October 2013 which I convened
  • I have examined Doctoral thesis at UCL (UK), Reading (UK), Salford (UK), Nottingham (UK), Swansea (UK), Newcastle (UK), Kings College London (UK), University College Cork (Ireland), University College Dublin (Ireland) and Zaragoza (Spain)
  • Visiting scientist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (2006)
  • I am member of the University of Leicester Centre for Landscape and Climate Research (CLCR)
  • I teach Remote Sensing and Earth Observation at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I also conceived and designed the Workplace Geographies module at Leicester that raises awareness in students of the important issues and topics that Geographers are well-positioned to address
  • I am an Academic Associate of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • I am a member and supporter of G-STEP based at the University of Leicester

Research Projects and Industry-Facing Consultancy

  • Assessment of fire severity in the KFCP REDD demonstration project area; Greenhouse Gas Peat Model Adviser; Finalisation of the KFCP peatland GHG analysis and provision of peatland GHG Information for INCAS (3 contracts) for Indonesia Australia Forest Carbon Partnership via DFAT - Australian Aid
  • AstroTROP - Utilizing virtual observatory technology to improve the frequency and coverage of tropical forest monitoring funded by STFC External Innovations - Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP)
  • ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) - Fire ECV funded by the European Space Agency
  • GBA2000 - Global Burned Area 2000 funded by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
  • Geoland2 - Operational Monitoring Services for our Changing Environment funded by the European Commission through FP7
  • GIONET - GMES Initial Operations Network for Earth Observation Research Training (GIONET) funded by the European Commission through FP7
  • GIO-GL - GMES (Copernicus) Initial Operations "Operation of the Global Land Component" funded by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
  • ISMORTASED - Identification of sites for micro-hydropower on rivers through applied satellite and environmental data funded by the Technology Strategy Board (Ref – 131545) with High Efficiency Heating Ltd. See our recent Press Release here for a 10 month research program
  • L3JRC funded by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
  • Marabu biomass estimation using remote sensing for Havana Energy Ltd.
  • RHEES - Rural hybrid energy enterprise systems funded as part of EPSRC and DST India's 'Bridging the urban rural divide' (BURD) programme
  • SIBERIA-I funded by the European Commission through FP4

If you represent a business or industry and are interested in discussing how we can help, then please get in touch.

PhD Supervision


  • Abdel-Rahman al-Shabeeb - 'Selecting potential sites for groundwater recharge in the Azraq basin of Jordan using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP)'
  • Bashir Adamu - 'Characterizing spills from pipelines in Nigeria using multispectral satellite data'
  • Claire Burwell - 'Using 2D and 3D vision to identify and measure geographical features inside a point cloud'
  • James Wheeler - 'Forest monitoring of the Congo Basin using L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)'
  • Mustafa Kose - 'Improving existing dasymetric interpolation methods for population estimation'
  • Narissara Nuthammachot - 'Using high-resolution TerraSAR-x data to detect disturbances in tropical peatswamp forest'
  • Natalia Gonzalez Michaels - 'The potential of oil palm plantation residues for use in the paper production industry'
  • Paul Arellano - 'Detection of vegetation stress caused by hydrocarbon influence in the Amazon tropical forest'
  • Pedro Rodríguez-Veiga - 'Global forest biomass mapping: integrating regional allometry, profiling lidar, and satellite imaging'
  • Penelope Kourkouli - 'Differential Interferometric SAR/PSI hybrid methodologies for ground-motion monitoring'
  • Ramesh Ningthoujam - 'Retrieving forest characteristics with high resolution airborne S-band radar data'
  • Sa'ad Ibrahim - 'Assessment of optical and high resolution imagery for biomass mapping in savannas'


  • 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
  • Stephen Grebby - 'Novel applications of airborne LiDAR and multispectral data for high-resolution geological mapping of vegetated ophiolitic rocks and sedimentary cover, Troodos Range, Cyprus' (NERC CASE studentship with the British Geological Survey) - awarded PhD in 2011
  • Matthew Waldram - 'Characterising disturbance in tropical peat swamp forest using satellite imaging radar' - awarded PhD in 2014
  • Sarah Owen - 'Geological origins of sugarloaf peaks in eastern Brazil and their environmental significance as refugia for Mata Atlantica preservation'  - awarded PhD in 2014


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.


Check out my Google Scholar profile. I have a h-index of 21 (28/4/2014)

  1. Mouillot, F., Schultz, M.J., Yue, C., Cadule, P., Tansey, K., Ciais, P., and Chuvieco, E., 2014, Ten years of global burned area products from spaceborne remote sensing—A review: Analysis of user needs and recommendations for future developments. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 26, 64-79, doi:10.1016/j.jag.2013.05.014
  2. Hoscilo, A., Tansey, K., and Page,S.E., 2013, Post-fire vegetation response as a proxy to quantify the magnitude of burn severity in tropical peatland. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 34, 412-433, doi:10.1080/01431161.2012.709328
  3. Burwell, C., Jarvis, C., and Tansey, K., 2012, The potential for using 3D visualization for data exploration, error correction and analysis of LiDAR point clouds. Remote Sensing Letters, 3, 481-490, doi:10.1080/01431161.2011.629233
  4. Alexander, C., Tansey, K., Kaduk, J., Holland, D., and Tate, N.J., 2011, An approach to classification of airborne laser scanning point cloud data in an urban environment. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 32, 9151-9169, doi:10.1080/01431161.2010.550645
  5. Grebby, S., Cunningham, D., Naden, J., and Tansey, K., 2011, Application of airborne LiDAR data and airborne multispectral imagery to structural mapping of the upper section of the Troodos ophiolite, Cyprus. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 101, 1645-1660, doi:10.1007/s00531-011-0742-3
  6. Romero-Ruiz, M.H., Flantua, S.G.A., Tansey, K., and Berrio, J.C., 2011, Landscape transformations in savannas of northern South America: Land use/cover changes since 1987 in the Llanos Orientales of Colombia. Applied Geography, 32, 766-776, doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.08.010
  7. Hoscilo, A., Page, S.E, Tansey, K., and 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Bombelli, A., Arneth, A., Castaldi, S., Grieco, E., Henry, M., Lehsten, V., Reichstein, M., Tansey, K., Weber, U., and Valentini, R., 2009, An outlook on the Sub-Saharan Africa carbon balance, Biogeosciences, 6, pp. 2193-2205
  13. Tansey, K., Selmes, N., Anstee, A., Tate, N.J., and Denniss, A., 2009, Estimating tree and stand variables in a Corsican Pine woodland from terrestrial laser scanner data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 30, 19, pp. 5195-5209, doi: 10.1080/01431160902882587
  14. Alexander, C., Smith-Voysey, S., Jarvis, C., and Tansey, K., 2009, Integrating building footprints and LiDAR elevation data to classify roof structures and visualise buildings. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 33, pp. 285-292, doi:10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2009.01.009
  15. Lehsten, V., Tansey, K., Balzter, H., Thonicke, K., Spessa, A., Weber, U., Smith, B., and Arneth, A., 2009, Estimating carbon emissions from African wildfires, Biogeosciences, 6, 349-360
  16. Tansey, K., Chambers, I., Anstee, A., Denniss, A., and Lamb, A., 2009, Object-oriented classification of Very High Resolution airborne imagery for the extraction of hedgerows and field margin cover in agricultural areas. Applied Geography, 29, pp. 145-157, doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2008.08.004
  17. Page, S.E., Hoscilo, A., Wosten, H., Jauhiainen, J., Silvius, M., Rieley, J., Ritzema, H., Tansey, K., Graham, L., Vasander, H., and Limin, S., 2009, Restoration ecology of lowland tropical peatlands in Southeast Asia – current knowledge and future research directions. Ecosystems, 12, pp. 888-905, doi: 10.1007/s10021-008-9216-2
  18. Tansey, K., Beston, J., Hoscilo, A., Page, S.E., and Paredes Hernández, C.U., 2008, The relationship between MODIS fire hotspot count and burned area in a degraded tropical peat swamp forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. J. Geophys. Res., 113, D23112, doi:10.1029/2008JD010717
  19. Tansey, K., Grégoire, J.-M., Defourny, P., Leigh, R., Pekel, J.-F., van Bogaert, E., and Bartholomé, E., 2008, A new, global, multi-annual (2000–2007) burnt area product at 1 km resolution. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L01401, doi:10.1029/2007GL031567
  20. Phillips, M., Page, S.E., Saratsi, E., Tansey, K., and Moore, K., 2008, Diversity, scale and green landscapes in the gentrification process: Traversing ecological and social science perspectives. Applied Geography, 28, 54-76, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2007.07.003
  21. Cunningham, D., Gosar, A., Kastelic, V., Grebby, S. and Tansey, K., 2007, Multi-disciplinary investigations of active faults in the Julian Alps, Slovenia. Acta Geodynamica et Geomaterialia, 4, 1 (145), 77-85
  22. Cunningham, D., Grebby, S., Tansey, K., Gosar, A., and Kastelic, V., 2006, Application of airborne LiDAR to mapping seismogenic faults in forested mountainous terrain, southeastern Alps, Slovenia. Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L20308, doi:10.1029/2006GL027014
  23. Michel, C., Liousse, C., Grégoire, J.-M., Tansey, K., Carmichael, G.R., and Woo, J.-H., 2005, Biomass burning emission inventory from burnt area data given by the SPOT-VEGETATION system in the frame of TRACE-P and ACE-Asia campaigns. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 110, D09304, doi:10.1029/2004JD005461
  24. Tansey, K., Grégoire, J-M., Binaghi, E., Boschetti, L., Brivio, P.A., Ershov, D., Flasse, S., Fraser, R., Graetz, D., Maggi, M., Peduzzi, P., Pereira, J.M.C., Silva, J., Sousa, A., and Stroppiana, D., 2004, A Global Inventory of Burned Areas at 1 Km Resolution for the Year 2000 Derived from Spot Vegetation Data. Climatic Change, 67, 345-377, doi:10.1007/s10584-004-2800-3
  25. Tansey, K., Grégoire, J-M., Stroppiana, D., Sousa, A., Silva, J.M.N., Pereira, J.M.C., Boschetti, L., Maggi, M., Brivio, P.A., Fraser, R., Flasse, S., Ershov, D., Binaghi, E., Graetz, D. and Peduzzi, P., 2004, Vegetation burning in the year 2000: Global burned area estimates from SPOT VEGETATION data. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 109, D14S03, doi:10.1029/2003JD003598
  26. Tansey, K., Luckman, A., Skinner, L., Balzter, H., Strozzi, T., and Wagner, W., 2004, Classification of forest volume resources using ERS tandem coherence and JERS intensity data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 25, 751-768, doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(02)00198-0
  27. Stroppiana, D., Tansey, K., Grégoire, J-M., and Pereira, J.M.C., 2003, An algorithm for mapping burnt areas in Australia using SPOT-VEGETATION data. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 41, 907-909, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2003.808898
  28. Grégoire, J-M., Tansey, K., and Silva, J.M.N., 2003, The GBA2000 initiative: Developing a global burned area database from SPOT-VEGETATION imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 24, 1369-1376, doi: 10.1080/0143116021000044850
  29. Wagner, W., Luckman, A., Vietmeier, J., Tansey, K., Balzter, H., Schmullius, C., Davidson, M., Gaveau, D., Gluck, M., Le Toan, T., Quegan, S., Shvidenko, A., Wiesmann, A., and Yu, J.J., 2003, Large-scale mapping of boreal forest in SIBERIA using ERS tandem coherence and JERS backscatter data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 85, 125-144, doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(02)00198-0
  30. Balzter, H., Talmon, E., Wagner, W., Gaveau, D., Plummer, S., Yu, J.J., Quegan, S., Davidson, M., Le Toan, T., Gluck, M., Shvidenko, A., Nilsson, S., Tansey, K., Luckman, A., and Schmullius, C., 2002, Accuracy assessment of a large-scale forest map of central Siberia from synthetic aperture radar. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 28, 719-737
  31. Tansey, K., and Millington, A.C., 2001, Investigating the potential for soil moisture and surface roughness monitoring in drylands using ERS SAR data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 22, 2129-2149, doi: 10.1080/01431160121099
  32. Tansey, K., Millington, A.C, Battikhi, A., and White, K., 1999, Monitoring soil moisture dynamics using satellite imaging radar in north-eastern Jordan. Applied Geography, 19, 325-344, doi:10.1016/S0143-6228(99)00009-0

Full listing of publications

Share this page: