Brian’s role in the Science Programme is to provide Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) support to the Centre’s internal projects as well as communicating with external partners on the use of Earth Observation data in conservation applications. His special interest is in the development of landcover change assessment tools in order to monitor the impact on habitat and biodiversity loss. Brian’s daily responsibilities include: data collection and analysis; report writing; and capacity building in RS/GIS.
Brian’s PhD developed a method to monitor vegetation seasonality across the island of Ireland using time series analysis of remotely-sensed vegetation growth measures, examining how air temperature and landcover are linked to spatiotemporal patterns of seasonality at a national scale. Brian continued as a postdoctoral research assistant at Aberystwyth University, Wales followed by consultancy work at Environmental Research and Assessment (ERA), Cambridge. At Aberystwyth, he contributed to Object-Based Image Analysis techniques to assess land cover change in and around NATURA 2000 sites in Europe. At ERA, he was involved in landcover mapping for a Strategic Environmental Assessment in East Africa.
Brian is working with external consultants to merge existing terrestrial and marine threat layers and develop techniques to analyse cumulative threat. The outputs from this work will be a GIS-compatible global cumulative threat layer and an analysis of threat impacts in the coastal zone.
In collaboration with staff from the Centre’s Ecosystem and Assessment Programme, Brian has written a report which addresses the gap between explicit biodiversity policy needs – such as the 2020 Aichi Targets – and the opportunities afforded by Earth Observation (airborne and spaceborne remote sensing) data, as required by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Brian is working with the GBO-4 team on collating information for the latest individual Biodiversity Indicators Partnership (BIP) indicator updates, as well as scoping the potential for new indicators, as input for the 4th edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, the flagship publication of the CBD.