Professor Paul Aplin

Qualifications

  • FRGS
  • PGCAP, University of Nottingham, 2002
  • PhD Geography, University of Southampton, 1999
  • MSc Environmental Remote Sensing, University of Aberdeen, 1995
  • MA (Hons) Geography, University of Edinburgh, 1994

Research

My central research theme is remote sensing of environmental distributions, with particular focus on spatial and temporal scales of observation, methods of land cover characterisation, and application to ecological problems.

I am interested in variation in the natural environment, and how this variation over space and time can be represented using image data and analysis (STARS multitemporal remote sensing 2013). Land cover information, especially with its implications for human land use, is of critical importance for both understanding and managing the global environment and how it changes over time (Remote sensing land cover 2004). Detailed land cover classification has been routinely achievable for over a decade with the current generation of very high resolution sensors (Base mapping 2003). Nonetheless image data can be too coarse to identify target features; but here contemporary super-resolution analysis enables mapping at the sub-pixel scale (Super-resolution image analysis 2013). Alternatively where traditional pixel-based approaches over-sample the landscape, object-based image analysis can provide an accurate representation (Object-based landscape analysis 2011). Image classification, and indeed remote sensing as a whole, has often been under-exploited in ecological investigation (Improving tropical peatland estimates 2015). Applied appropriately, remote sensing offers considerable benefit for analysing ecological distributions and ultimately informing conservation practices (Woody species conservation strategies 2010).

Recent Publications

Momeni, R., Aplin, P. and Boyd, D.S., 2016, Mapping complex urban land cover from spaceborne imagery: the influence of spatial resolution, spectral band set and classification approach, Remote Sensing, 8, doi:10.3390/rs8020088.

Aplin, P. and Boyd, D.S., 2015, Innovative technologies for terrestrial remote sensing, Remote Sensing, 7, 4968-4972, doi:10.3390/rs70404968.

Feng, X., Foody, G., Aplin, P. and Gosling, S.N., 2015, Enhancing the spatial resolution of satellite-derived land surface temperature mapping for urban areas, Sustainable Cities and Society, doi:10.1016/j.scs.2015.04.007.

Lawson, I.T., Kelly, T.J., Aplin, P. et al., 2015, Improving estimates of tropical peatland area, carbon storage, and greenhouse gas fluxes, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 23, 327–346, doi:10.1007/s11273-014-9402-2.

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Projects

I was recently awarded the Royal Geographical Society’s Ralph Brown Expedition Award for monitoring peat swamp degradation in Malaysia, plus a NERC Airborne Research and Survey Facility grant for acquiring hyperspectral and lidar data. I also hold a Discipline Bridging research grant to link remote sensing and palaeoecology for historic landscape reconstruction in southern Africa, and an associated South Africa National Parks research project. I am investigator on a project to investigate the environmental impact of exotic forest plantations in Chile, funded by the National Commission for Scientific Research and Technology.

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Supervision

I currently supervise Ibrahim Gumel (urban sprawl monitoring) and Nicholas O’Keeffe (coastal dune dynamics) at Edge Hill University; plus Chloe Brown (peat swamp forest conservation), Xiao Feng (thermal image sharpening), Rahman Momeni (land cover classification) and Fifik Syafiudin (InSAR subsidence analysis) as external supervisor at the University of Nottingham.

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Teaching

GEO1035 Geo.com
GEO2061 Digital Geographies
GEO2062 Fieldwork in Geography
GEO4000 Research Methods and Planning
SCI4000 Research Planning and Design

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Academic Service

In addition to direct research and teaching activity, I engage widely in broader academic service. After completing a term as Chairman of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), I recently co-founded the Northwest Earth Observation Network (NEON). I am an editorial board member or guest editor for the International Journal of Geographical Information Science, International Journal of Remote Sensing, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Land and Remote Sensing Applications: Science and Society; and I acted as Book Series Editor for the International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS). I am committed to knowledge exchange, recently leading NERC’s major Earth Observation Technology Cluster initiative.

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Publications

Momeni, R., Aplin, P. and Boyd, D.S., 2016, Mapping complex urban land cover from spaceborne imagery: the influence of spatial resolution, spectral band set and classification approach, Remote Sensing, 8, doi:10.3390/rs8020088.

Aplin, P. and Boyd, D.S., 2015, Innovative technologies for terrestrial remote sensing, Remote Sensing, 7, 4968-4972, doi:10.3390/rs70404968.

Feng, X., Foody, G., Aplin, P. and Gosling, S.N., 2015, Enhancing the spatial resolution of satellite-derived land surface temperature mapping for urban areas, Sustainable Cities and Society, doi:10.1016/j.scs.2015.04.007.

Lawson, I.T., Kelly, T.J., Aplin, P. et al., 2015, Improving estimates of tropical peatland area, carbon storage, and greenhouse gas fluxes, Wetlands Ecology and Management, 23, 327–346, doi:10.1007/s11273-014-9402-2.

Altamirano, A., Aplin, P., Miranda, A., Cayuela, L., Algar, A. and Field, T., 2013, High rates of forest loss and turnover obscured by classical landscape measures, Applied Geography, 40, 199-211, doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2013.03.003.

Holland, J. and Aplin, P., 2013, Super-resolution image analysis as a means of monitoring bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) distributions, ISPRS Journal of Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry, 75, 48-63, doi:10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2012.10.002.

Mello, M.P., Risso, J., Atzberger, C., Aplin, P., Pebesma, E., Vieira, C.A.O. and Rudorff, B.F.T., 2013 Bayesian networks for raster data (BayNeRD): plausible reasoning from observations, Remote Sensing, 5, 5999-6025, doi:10.3390/rs5115999.

Mello, M., Vieira, C., Rudorff, B., Aplin, P., Santos, R.D.C. and Aguiar, D.A., 2013, STARS: a new method for multitemporal remote sensing, IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 51, 1897-1913, doi:10.1109/TGRS.2012.2215332.

Aplin, P., Boyd, D., Danson, F.M., Donoghue, D., Ferrier, G., Galiatsatos, N., Marsh, A., Pope, A., Ramirez, F.A. and Tate, N., 2012, The Earth Observation Technology Cluster, International Archives in the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 39(B6), 31-36.

Aplin, P. and Smith, G., 2011, An introduction to object-based landscape analysis, International Journal of Geographical Information Science. 25, 869-875, doi:10.1080/13658816.2011.56657.

Altamirano, A., Field, R., Cayuela, L., Aplin, P., Lara, A. and Rey-Benayas, J.M., 2010, Woody species diversity in temperate Andean forests: the need for new conservation strategies, Biological Conservation, 143, 2080-2091, doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2010.05.016.

Aplin, P., 2010, Using remotely sensed imagery, Key Methods in Geography, Second Edition, Clifford, N., Valentine, G. and French, S. (editors), London, Sage, 299-313.

Harvey, G., Mount, N., Aplin, P. And Priestnall, G., 2009, Introduction to representing, modeling and visualizing the natural environment, Representing, Modeling and Visualizing the Natural Environment, Mount, N., Harvey, G., Aplin, P. And Priestnall, G. (editors) CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1-8.

Teeuw, R., Aplin, P., McWilliam, N., Wicks, T., Kervyn, M. and Ernst, G., 2009, Hazard assessment and disaster management using remote sensing, in Handbook of Remote Sensing, Warner, T., Nellis, M.D. and Foody, G.M. (editors), Sage, Thousand Oaks, 446-458.

Aplin, P. and Smith, G.M., 2008, Advances in object-based image classification, International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 37(B7), 725-728.

Du, P., Aplin, P. and Jackson, M., 2008, Remote sensing education in China and the UK: synergy and opportunities, International Archives in the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 37(B6a), 1-4.

Priestnall, G. and Aplin, P., 2006, Spatial and temporal remote sensing requirements for river monitoring, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 2111-2120, doi:10.1080/01431160500396139.

Aplin, P., 2006, On scales and dynamics in observing the environment, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 2123-2140, doi:10.1080/01431160500396477.

Aplin, P., 2005, Remote sensing: ecology, Progress in Physical Geography, 29, 104-113, doi:10.1191/030913305pp437pr.

Lloyd, C., Atkinson, P.M. and Aplin, P., 2005, Characterising local spatial variation in land cover using geostatistical functions and the discrete wavelet transform, Geostatistics for Environmental Applications, Renard, P., Demougeot-Renard, H. and Froidevaux, R. (editors), Springer, Berlin, 391-402.

Aplin, P., 2004, Remote sensing: land cover, Progress in Physical Geography, 28, 283-293, doi:10.1191/0309133304pp413pr.

Aplin, P. and Atkinson, P.M., 2004, Predicting missing field boundaries to increase per-field classification accuracy, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 70, 141-149.

Atkinson, P.M. and Aplin, P., 2004, Spatial variation in land cover and choice of spatial resolution for remote sensing, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 25, 3687-3702, doi:10.1080/01431160310001654383.

Aplin, P., 2003, Comparison of simulated IKONOS and SPOT HRV imagery for classifying urban areas, Remotely-Sensed Cities, Mesev, V. (editor), Taylor and Francis, London, 23-45.

Aplin, P., 2003, Using remotely sensed data, Key Methods in Geography, Clifford, N. and Valentine, G. (editors), Sage, London, 291-308.

Tantram, D., Haines-Young, R., Agarwal, P. and Aplin, P., 2003, GIS in AONB management, AONB Management Handbook, The Countryside Agency, Cheltenham, online, pp. 36.

Aplin, P. and Atkinson, P.M., 2001, Sub-pixel land cover mapping for per-field classification, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 22, 2853-2858, doi:10.1080/01431160110053176.

Aplin, P., Atkinson, P.M. and Curran, P.J., 1999, Fine spatial resolution simulated satellite sensor imagery for land cover mapping in the UK, Remote Sensing of Environment, 68, 206-216 doi:10.1016/S0034-4257(98)00112-6.

Aplin, P., Atkinson, P. and Curran, P., 1999, Per-field classification of land use using the forthcoming very fine spatial resolution satellite sensors: problems and potential solutions, Advances in Remote Sensing and GIS Analysis, Atkinson, P. and Tate, N. (editors), Wiley, Chichester, 219-239.

Aplin, P., 2003, Remote sensing: base mapping, Progress in Physical Geography, 27, 275-283, doi:10.1191/0309133303pp381pr.

Aplin, P., Atkinson, P.M. and Curran, P.J., 1997, Fine spatial resolution satellite sensors for the next decade, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 18, 3873-3881, doi:10.1080/014311697216694.

Aplin, P., Atkinson, P.M. and Curran, P.J., 1997, Using the spectral properties of fine spatial resolution satellite sensor imagery for national land cover and land use mapping, Physical Measurements and Signatures in Remote Sensing, Guyot, G. and Phulpin, T. (editors), Balkema, Rotterdam, 661-668.

Ridley, H.M., Atkinson, P.M., Aplin, P., Muller, J.-P. and Dowman, I., 1997, Evaluating the potential of the forthcoming commercial U.S. high-resolution satellite sensor imagery at the Ordnance Survey, Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 63, 997-1005.

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