Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson

Research Group

Post-doc researchers

Stefano Casaleggno - URBAN BESS

Emilie Grand-Clement - MIRES

David Luscombe - MIRES

Naomi Gatis - MIRES

Miriam Glendell - DEFRA

PhD Researchers

Leon Debell

Andrew Cunliffe

Caroline Lidell

Darren Jones

Hugh Graham

James Duffy

Joel Forsmoo

Dominic Fawcett

Karen Anderson Teaching


Global Issues in Environmental Science (Yr 1)

Tutorials (Yr 1)

Remote Sensing for Environmental Management (Yr 2)

Field Class to California (Yr 3)

Dissertation in Environmental Science

Dissertation in Geography

West Penwith Field Course

View my Publications
Connect with me on LinkedIn

Dr Karen Anderson

Associate Professor in Remote Sensing


My research is concerned with answering critical questions about landscape function using spatial and structural indicators as proxies.  I use high precision, validated remote sensing (RS) data and novel methods of analysis to improve functional understanding of vegetated systems.  I have led funded research projects on research questions concerned with improving understanding of landscape ecology, hydrology and environmental science. I work in non-forest systems where vegetation pattern and volumetric structure provide useful proxies for ecosystem function.  I lead the ESI's 'DroneLab' that uses lightweight drone technology to deliver fine-grained proximal sensing data for addressing critical environmental science and management questions.

I am also a member of the Geography department in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences.

You can find out more by watching a two-minute video of me explaining my work.

Research interests

  • Remote sensing techniques for assessing landscape structure
  • Ground-based optical observations and field spectroscopy
  • Linking remote sensing data to flux tower measurements
  • Airborne and ground based laser scanning
  • Uncertainty assessment of remote sensing data
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as platforms for remote sensing research
  • 3-dimensional landscape visualisation
  • Remote sensing applications in peatland ecohydrology

Current projects

  • EU Marie Curie ITN - 'trustee' - Innovative proximal sensing solutions for vegetation biophysical characterisation
  • Remote sensing Dartmoor Peatlands (South West Water)
  • EU cost Action ESI309 - 'optimise' - Innovative optical tools for proximal sensing of ecophysiological processes
  • NERC - Fragments, functions and flows - the scaling of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban ecosystems (in collaboration with Professor Kevin J Gaston)
  • NERC/South West Water - Mires on the moor project. Monitoring the efficacy of upland peatland restoration (in collaboration with Dr Richard Brazier)
  • DEFRA - Developing a cost-effective soil erosion monitoring framework for England and Wales (in collaboration with Dr Richard Brazier)
  • Devon Wildlife Trust and South West Water - Culm grassland monitoring project (in collaboration with Dr Richard Brazier)


2005 PhD Geography (University of Southampton)
1999 BSc Environmental Science (University of Southampton)


2016 Associate Professor, University of Exeter
Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
2004-2010 Lecturer, University of Exeter
2000-2002 Manager of the NERC Equipment Pool for Field Spectroscopy, University of Southampton
2000-2002 Remote sensing consultancy, GeoData Institute

Contact details

Email karen.anderson@exeter.ac.uk
Telephone +44 (0) 1326 371854
Building Environment and Sustainability Institute
Room 1.38
Address University of Exeter 
Penryn Campus
Cornwall TR10 9FE