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Dr Emma Tebbs is a Lecturer in Physical Geography and Earth Observation. She has expertise and interests in the application of Earth observation technology to issues of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Her research concentrates on the remote sensing of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with particular focus on lakes, rivers and their catchments. She also leads the Earth Observation and Environmental Sensing activity hub within the Department of Geography.

Her recent research projects have included investigating the impacts of hydropower dam developments on environmental change in Ethiopia, as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-Department for International Development (DfID) funded project, 'Shifting In/equality Dynamics in Ethiopia: from Research to Application (SIDERA)'. She has also investigated current and potential future applications of satellite soil moisture observations as part of a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) India-UK Water Centre (IUKWC) project.

Emma has a PhD in Environmental Physics from the University of Leicester (2014). Her PhD research used satellite datasets and field measurements to investigate the connections between ecological and hydrological processes in alkaline-saline lakes in Kenya and Tanzania, critical to the lifecycle of Lesser Flamingos.

Prior to joining King’s, Emma worked as a Research Associate in Spatial Ecology and Remote Sensing at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2013 – 2015).


  • Remote sensing of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems
  • Field spectroscopy and algorithm development
  • Ecohydrology and lake ecology
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Sustainable development
  • Water resources management
  • East Africa

Emma is a remote sensing scientist with interests in the innovative use of Earth Observation technology for addressing issues of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. She has expertise in remote sensing of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, inland waters and agricultural landscapes, with a focus on developing countries, particularly in Africa.

Her research investigates complex relationships within interconnected, human-natural systems and addresses problems with global significance, such as how to sustainably manage resources, and ensure food and water security, in a world with a growing population and increasing demand for natural resources.



  • 5SSG2061 Geographical Research Skills (Environmental Remote Sensing)
  • 6SSG3071 Global Environmental Change II
  • 6SSG3028 Environmental Remote Sensing II


  • 7SSG5029 Environmental Remote Sensing  
  • 7SSG5177 Global Environmental Change II

PhD supervision

Emma welcomes PhD students looking to apply remote sensing technologies (eg drones and satellite data) to answer ecological questions and contribute to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Example project topics include:

  • Remote sensing of the invasive aquatic plant, water hyacinth, across the tropics
  • Monitoring cyanobacterial bloom dynamics in inland waters using satellite remote sensing
  • Global assessment of lake ecological states using high spatial resolution satellite sensors

Principal supervisor

Further details

See Emma's research profile