Gary Watmough


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Impact of humanitarian mine clearances on tropical forest carbon storage with CEOBS and The University of Leeds Digital Agriculture: How diffusion of innovations occur from planning to adoption Understanding how digital technologies, data science and remote sensing can lead to the transfer of agricultural innovation - EPSRC funded Case PhD with LTS International.

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Research: Gary is interested in the use of geospatial technologies such as satellite imagery to study human poverty, livelihoods and wellbeing.  He specialises in developing proxy metrics for measuring poverty using multi-source non-traditional data such as very-high spatial resolution satellite imagery (<1m) and open street map data. Gary is particularly interested in developing methods for using satellite imagery to map and monitor aspects of human livelihoods and how this could be used to support the targeting of resources to areas that are in specific need. 

Current research projects as principal or co-investigator:  (1) Child poverty and access to services a Data For Children Collaborative with UNICEF Project (2) Population Density Estimations using Building Footprint Identification a Data For Children Collaborative with UNICEF Project (3) Co-developing a network and agenda for interdisciplinary research in the Okavango Delta, (4) STRATA: a collaboration between University of Edinburgh, UNEP and Earth Blox to develop a Climate Risk Index.


PhD Opportunities: Places for September 2022 will be advertised online soon:


Teaching: Current teaching responsibilities include being the Programme Director MSc Environmental Sustainability. Gary teaches the following postgraduate courses in ‘Applied research skills in environment and society’,  ‘Research practice and project planning’, ‘Case Studies in Sustainable Development’, ‘Principles and Practices of Remote Sensing’ and undergraduate courses in 'Key Methods in Physical Geography'.  Gary is currently co-developing an online course in Satellites for Sustainable Development Goals. 

Administrative Roles

Programme Director for MSc in Environmental Sustainability 

Member of the School Ethics Committee, Geosciences

School contact person for the International Union of Forest Research Organisations

Collaborative Activity

  • Member of the Data for Children Collaborative with UNICEF
  • Lupane State University and Bulawayo Municipal Government, Zimbabwe. 
  • Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security
  • Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Aarhus University, Denmark  - USES project
  • International Institute of Applied Systems Science, Austria - Using Remote Sensing for monitoring and evaluating international development projects
  • University of Florida/Columbia University, USA - USES project (analysing Millennium Villages Data


B.Sc. Lancaster University, Geography

M.Sc. Southampton University, Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis

Ph.D Southampton University, Exploring the spatial associations between socioeconomic variables and remotely sensed environmental metrics in Assam, Northeast India.



personal teaching and research webpage:

External positions

Consultant Research Scientist, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

2015 → …


  • G Geography (General)
  • GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
  • SD Forestry


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