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Dr Emma Tebbs has expertise 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 is Deputy Chair of the GEO AquaWatch Steering Committee and she leads King’s Earth Observation and Environmental Sensing research hub.

Her recent research projects have included investigating the impacts of hydropower dam developments on environmental change in Ethiopia, as part of the ESRC-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 PI for a NERC India-UK Water Centre (IUKWC) project.

As part of the European Space Agency funded Floating Weed Manager project (2019-2020), she led the development of a novel method for mapping invasive floating aquatic plants globally using new satellite sensors. Prior to joining King’s, Emma was a Research Associate in Spatial Ecology and Remote Sensing at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (2013-2015). She has a PhD from the University of Leicester (2014) in ‘Remote Sensing for the Study of Ecohydrology in East African Rift Lakes’. 


  • 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.



  • 6SSG3088 Sustainability in Practice
  • 6SSG3028 Environmental Remote Sensing II
  • 6SSG3077 Applied Spatial Data Science
  • 6SSG3071 Environmental Dynamics in the Anthropocene


  • 7SSGN029 Earth Observation and Remote Sensing for Sustainability
  • 7SSGN224 Sustainability in Practice
  • 7SSGN177 Environmental Dynamics in the Anthropocene 

PhD supervision

Emma welcomes PhD students looking to apply remote sensing technologies (e.g. 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