Phone number: 0121 204 3560
Room Number: MB203
I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
I joined the School in 2003 after 3 years as a software developer, where I focused
on maintaining map data integrity and currency for field workers who may only
have intermittent communication with a central GIS server. As a lecturer at Aston,
I engage extensively with schools, industry and community groups and have
received Excellence Awards for my teaching. Much of my research is interdisciplinary,
involving, for example, collaborations with microbiologists, economists and town planners. My work on a recent secondment as a Senior Researcher at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission combined software development and remote sensing experience to generate Web-based landcover validation tools for use by an international community of experts in biodiversity and forestry monitoring.
Having worked for the Birmingham Urban Wildlife Trust as a school leaver, I developed an interest in urban ecology and green corridors which led to a PhD on the spatial pattern and dispersal of plant species within the urban mosaic of remnant and emerging habitat fragments. Patch quality, geometry and isolation were modeled to compare the occupancy of available habitat to that predicted by metapopulation models. The thesis also identified apparent source-sink effects in the woodland herb Melampyrum pratense, within Sutton Park, Birmingham. During this time I also completed an MSc in GIS at the University of Leicester, publishing my dissertation on sub-pixel classification methods for handling 'mixed pixels' in remotely-sensed imagery.
My first postdoctoral post was on the EU-supported project FLIERS (Fuzzy Land Information from Environmental Remote Sensing) at the University of Leicester, concentrating on:
- generation of verification and training data through vegetation survey, and some novel imagery manipulation and correction.
- creation of a visualisation toolkit to explore the many data layers produced by fuzzy classifications. This toolkit was written in Java, by myself and Jo Wood, and can be downloaded and evaluated HERE.
Qualifications & Education
- 2011 - present: Senior Lecturer in Computer Science, Aston University
- 2010 - 2011: Senior Researcher, Global Environmental Monitoring Unit, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.
- 2004 – 2010: Lecturer, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University
- 2001 – 2003: Senior Software Developer, Tadpole-Cartesia (now ESRI UK)
- 1999 – 2000: Lecturer in GIS, Nottingham University
- 1996-1999: Research Associate, FLIERS, University of Leicester
- CS3210: Geographical Information Systems.
- CS3160: Enterprise Application Technology.
- CS2040: Media Science.
- Final year / Masters GIS/ Computer Science / Environmental Science projects.
- EM4010: MSc Quantitative Methods.
- UncertWeb: Uncertainty-enabling the 'Model Web'.
- Assessing the effects of real-world uncertainty on conservation planning tools. (in partnership with RMIT, Australia)
- Mapping and modelling of disease: e.g. spatio-temporal clustering of community-associated MRSA in the West Midlands.
- Interoperable exchange of data quality information (via XML schemas such as UncertML) - Web Processing Service approaches to automated interpolation for emergency mapping.
- Carbon/traffic impacts of transporting municipal waste to EfW (Energy from Waste) facilities.
Recent research funding
- 2006-09: Co-investigator on 'Interoperable Interpolation for Automated Mapping (INTAMAP)’ - EU FP6 STREP (2.4m Euro, £216k to Aston)
- 2010-13: Co-investigator on ‘UncertWeb: the Uncertainty Enabled Model Web’ - EU FP7 STREP (2.5m Euro, £560k to Aston)
- 2011-14: Co-investigator on ‘GeoViQua: Quality Visualisation for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems’ - EU FP7 STREP (3.5m Euro, £300k to Aston)
Current PhD Supervision
- Richard Jones (UncertWeb: Uncertainty-enabling web-based models and workflows) – co-supervised with Dr. Dan Cornford.
- Victoria Lush (GeoViQua: Trust and quality in geo-data) - co-supervised with Dr. Jo Lumsden.
- Thomas Bennett (CASE studentship with Amey on road temperature modelling and dynamic gritter routing) - co-supervised with Dr. Dan Cornford and Prof. Ian Nabney.
- Laurence Chittock (CABLED electric car demonstrator: geospatial analysis of usage, and design of charging infrastructure) - co-supervised with Mr Brian Price.
- Simon Bell (CASE studentship with the Met Office: 'How good is your data? A Bayesian Data Assimilation Approach') - co-supervised with Dr. Dan Cornford.
I am happy to supervise PhD candidates, particularly in the field of spatial analysis for environmental and ecological applications.
Membership of Professional Bodies
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
My research involves collaboration with a number of external agencies and businesses, including Amey, FAO, Wildlife Trusts, Primary Care Trusts, local Councils, FERA and the Met Office. I have also collaborated on INDEX Innovation Vouchers with local SMEs, including Teamworx (software development and management support for their 'Fusionworx' Lean Management software) and Dunstall Design Consultancy (prototyping and consultancy for Web-based mapping in highways surveying).
I regualrly work with regional and national school students through Masterclasses, competitions and taster sessions, as well as our Engineering Development Trust 'Headstart' course which introduces year 12 students to Computer Science at University level and beyond. I am a recorder for the Birmingham and Black Country Flora, and have supplied material for the interactive exhibits at ThinkTank, Millenium Point (Birmingham's Science Museum), and for the 2011 'New Optimists' collection of essays and interviews.
International Research links
I have long-standing research links with the Australian Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) which focus on biodiversity planning in urban fringes, including the publication of an open-source framework by which planners can assess the impacts of uncertainty on widely-used tools for systematic reserve design.I also work closely with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (Institute of Environment and Sustainability) on Web-based landcover change monitoring.