Münster as seen from Sentinel-2
© Hanna Meyer

to the Remote Sensing and Spatial Modelling Research Group

The Research Group of "Remote Sensing and Spatial Modelling" is part of the Institute of Landscape Ecology (ILÖK) of the University of Münster. We study and teach the acquisition and analysis of spatio-temporal enviromental dynamics in a board spectrum of landscape-ecological topics. We combine multi-scale remote sensing data with methods of spatial modelling in order to obtain continuous spatio-temporal information from limited ecological field samples.
The complexity of enviromental systems requires the use of modelling strategies that take complex relationships into account. For this reason, we focus on the application of machine learning methods. In addition to their application for research questions in the context of landscape ecology, we also develop new modelling strategies for spatial and spatio-temporal data. Thus, the research group is at the interface between Geoinformatics and Landscape Ecology und and has the aim to contribute to an increase in knowledge in ecosystem research via satellite data processing, modelling and simulation.

© OpenGeoHub

Coronavirus and courses

Due to the ongoing corona situation, the teaching of our AG will again take place completely online this semester. Our courses start in the week from November 2nd via zoom video connection at the indicated course time. Information about the dial-in options will be made available to you in good time via the Learnweb. Further information on specific courses is also available via the Learnweb.

If you have registered for the courses, you should already have been automatically enrolled in the Learnweb courses. If this is not the case, or if you have not yet registered for the course, please contact the course management as soon as possible!

Despite the restrictions, we are looking forward to teaching in the winter semester and hope to welcome you as a course participant.


We’re looking for a Research Associate to start in April (2 years, 100%)

We are looking for a highly motivated researcher to work on “Uebersat”, a joint project of our research group as well as the “Spatio-temporal modelling Lab” (Edzer Pebesma). In this project, new methods for the analysis and improvement of the spatio-temporal transferability of satellite-based AI models will be developed, with the aim to assess and increase the quality of earth observation products through the use of AI techniques. The new methods will be integrated into software packages and made available in cloud-based processing chains.

Find further information on the project here.
...And find details on the announcement here.


Two new research projects

© Hanna Meyer

In the new year we are starting two new research projects:
In the BMWi-funded project “Uebersat” we will work together with the Institute for Geoinformatics and develop new methods to assess and increase the transferability of satellite-based AI-models. The DFG-funded project “Carbon-4D” will be conducted together with the soil ecology in Bayreuth. Aim of the project is the development of a 4D (space, time, depth) monitoring of mineralization of soil organic carbon (SOC) on the landscape scale. We hope that the data-driven approach will help us to gain new insights into patterns and controlling factors of this key component of the global carbon cycle.

Find further information here.


Advance announcement: Lecture by Joana N. Brockmeyer about fire diversity

© Joana Nogueira Brockmeyer

Our post-doctoral fellow Joana Nogueira Brockmeyer will give a lecture on her current research work on 21.01.2021 with the title "Fire diversity in Brazil using satellite data and metrics of landscape ecology". Further information on the programme can be found here

First anniversary of the working group

© Jan Lehmann

Our working group celebrates its first anniversary. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all students and colleagues for their great support. The concept for our teaching activities has been mostly completed and from the next semester on we will start with our new module in the master's programme. There will also be new courses in the Bachelor's course. Further information can be found in the amendment of the examination regulations and on our website.

Welcome Joana in our working group

Fire in Cerrado
© Jan Lehmann

We welcome Joana Nogueira Brockmeyer in our working group. Joana is supported by a scholarship within the framework of WiRe - Women in Research of the WWU and works in her research on fires in the Cerrado ecosystem in Brazil. We are happy about the cooperation.

Webinar on drone use in Brazilian ecosystems

© Jan Lehmann

As part of the webinar series on "Usage of drones in Brazilian ecosystems", organized by the Brazilian environmental authority IBAMA, Jan Lehmann gave a presentation on the scientific exchange between Brazil and Germany. The long-standing cooperation with the universities of Vicosa and Belo Horizonte was presented and the common experiences with drones were discussed.

The webinar is available in Portuguese here.

Newspaper reports about Geo1Copter

© Jan Lehmann

The newspaper of the WWU reports in the current July issue about the research activities of the Geo1Copter project group. The focus is on the flights over the Ems floodplains to quantify the bare soil areas. The article can be downloaded here as PDF.

Excursion to rewetted cutover bog

© Maite Lezama Valdes

In cooperation with the working groups Ecohydrology and Biogeochemistry and Biodiversity and Ecosystem we have taken a closer look at the study sites in rewetted cutover bog near Vechta. The aim is to bundle the research expertise of the working groups in a jointly planned research proposal with the focus on monitoring of cutover bogs.

Welcome Julia and Henning

© Jan Lehmann

We are happy to welcome Julia Binder and Henning M. Schneidereit, who will support us as student assistants in teaching and research.

WingtraOne over the Ems riparian

© Jan Lehmann

Within the scope of the exercise "Acquisition and analysis of drone based image data" and a bachelor thesis we have acquired a section of the renaturalized Ems floodplains with the WingtraOne drone. The data (RGB and multispectral) will be evaluated with regard to disturbances and structural mosaics caused by large herbivores. The acquisition is of interest because there is a correlation between exposed soil and the occurrence of soil-nesting insects.

Visiting scientist from Prag

© Eva Filipczykova

Eva is a PhD student at Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic and a new intern at Institute of Landscape Ecology. Eva's PhD project focuses on studying scent marking of Andean bears and its implications for conservation of the species. The main goal of Eva's internship is to analyze and model habitat and terrain characteristics of Andean bear scent marking using the combination of statistical and spatial analysis. We are looking forward to support her with the data analysis.

UAV-M² Workshop in Münster

© AG Fernerkundung

From February 27th to 28th we organized a joint workshop on UAV based remote sensing, together with the University of Marburg. The 15 participants came from the research group of Environmental Informatics in Marburg, as well as IfGI's Spatio-Temporal Modelling Lab and our working group for Remote Sensing and Spatial Modelling. During the two days we've had a lot of exchanges about application possibilities, sensors, software, different analysis methods including deep learning methods as well as teaching activities.

It was an inspiring exchange from which diverse ideas for follow-up activities emerged. Thanks to all participants and we are looking forward to the next joint event in summer!

New DJI P4 multispectral drone for teaching

© Jan Lehmann

We are happy about the latest workgroup member, a DJI P4 Multispectral drone with RTK unit. The new drone is to be used in our courses, so that the students can be trained on a highly modern and widespread system. We are looking forward to exciting days in the field and interesting data.

Workshop on Machine Learning in Earth system science

We participated in the Helmholtz AI Cooperation Unit (HAICU) Workshop on Machine Learning in Earth system science that has taken place from 3.-4. February at the German Climate Computing Center (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, DKRZ) in Hamburg. It was two days of inspiring discussions and exchange and we’re now looking forward to expand our research focus on the use of AI in Earth observation with new ideas and contacts.

Special Issue on Machine Learning Methods for Environmental Monitoring


As Guest Editor we publish a special edition in MDPI Remote Sensing on the topic "Machine Learning Methods for Environmental Monitoring".
More information is available at mdpi.com/si/40565 and submissions are possible until 28 January 2021.

© Marwan Katurji

On January 23rd, Maite presented her PhD topic in the AG LÖK colloquium. She wants to model the influence of climate change on the terrestrial ecology of the Antarctic Dry Valleys. At the time she's working on a downscaling algorithm for land surface temperature (LST): Using a machine learning model, a 30m resolution LST product can be calculated from 1000m resolution MODIS LST scenes. The model is based on data from two satellite sensors (Landsat 8 and MODIS), as well as terrain variables.

We are looking for a student assistant

We are looking for a student assistant (SHB) with 8 hours/week to support the AG in research, teaching and management.

The tasks include the processing and preparation of remote sensing data within the scope of various projects. In addition, the position offers the opportunity to participate in the development of research ideas and data analysis in the field of remote sensing. Support for student projects in B.Sc teaching is also planned. Field work, e.g. in the context of UAS surveys, is possible.

Prerequisites are basic knowledge in the field of spatial data processing and remote sensing, as well as experience with R. In addition, independent work and problem solving is required, as well as interest in contributing to the establishment of the new working group.

If you are interested, please send a short application to Hanna Meyer by 31.01.2020.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Courses in the summer term 2020

Registration for our course in the coming summer semester is now open.
An overview of the current courses can be found here.

Remote Sensing and Spatial Modelling at the ILÖK

© Jan Lehmann

Since October 2019 we are a new research group for remote sensing and spatial modelling at the Institute for Landscape Ecology. We are looking forward to many exiting projects in research and teaching.