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School of Environment and Life Sciences

Dr Richard Armitage

Academic Lead, Geography and Environmental Management; Senior Lecturer in GIS


I joined the University of Salford in 2003, having previously been a Lecturer at Kingston University.  In 2011 I was promoted to my current position as Senior Lecturer in GIS. My background is in Geography, more specifically Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Earth Observation.  My particular interest is in how we can use both GIS and remote sensing to help characterise and interpret the human and physical environment that we are immersed in.  During my time at Salford I have played a leading role in the development of a range of undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes in Geography, Environmental Management and Geographical Information Systems.

My current role in the School is as the Academic Lead for the Geography and Environmental Management (GEM) area, where I am responsible for managing the delivery of the portfolio of taught programmes in Geography and Environmental Management.  Away from Salford I act as an External Examiner for taught programmes at a number of other UK universities. 

I am also an elected Trustee and Council member of a learner society, the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), and became Chairman of the Society in September 2016.  Through my involvement in RSPSoc I sit on a number of national and European advisory panels relating to remote sensing and earth observation. 


My teaching focuses on the application of Geographical Information System and remote sensing to environmental problems, with a particular emphasis on the use of quantitative spatial methods.  My approach to teaching is very much one based on experiential learning, particular the development of students’ skills and confidence in solving real world problems. 

I teach on modules across the undergraduate programmes in Geography, Environment and Wildlife, and deliver modules on specialist taught Masters programmes in GIS and Wildlife.  As Academic Lead for Geography and Environmental Management I coordinate and manage the delivery of the BSc Environmental Management, BA Geography and BSc Geography programmes, and the new BA Archaeology and Geography course, in the School.

Research Interests

My research interests centre round the application of GIS and earth observation methods and technologies to the characterisation and interpretation of both the natural and human environment.  Part of my current work is looking at the impact of green spaces on the urban environment, with a focus on the role that they play in ecosystem services.  I also have research interests relating to more natural environments, and have been involved in work looking at fire risk in UK upland areas and the development of new methods to characterise forest canopies using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). 

I am also interested in the potential of using both environmental and socio-economic indicators to describe neighbourhoods.  I have received research funding from a number of sources including: the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC); the European Union; Moors for the Future and various charities.  I am actively engaged in research supervision, and have had 11 successful PhD completions since joining Salford in 2003.

Qualifications and Memberships

BSc. (Hons) Educational Studies and Geography, 1991

MA. in Geographical Information Systems, 1992

M.Phil. in Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing, 1993

PhD in Biogeography and remote sensing,  1999

PgC in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 2005

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers),   1994

Member of the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society, 1994

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2007

Chairman, the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), 2016 – 2019

Chair, RSPSoc External Affairs International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Sub-Committee, 2016-2019


St Clair, R, Hardman, M, Armitage, R.P. and Sherriff, G.A., 2017, The trouble with temporary: impacts and pitfalls of a meanwhile community garden in Wythenshawe, South Manchester. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, DOI: 10.1017/S1742170517000291

Pena, J.C.D.C., Martello, F, Ribeiro, M.C., Armitage, R.P., Young, R.J. and Rodrigues, M., 2017, Street trees reduce the negative effects of urbanization on birds. PLoS One, 12 (e01744). DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0174484

Dennis, M., Armitage, R.P. and James, P. 2016. Appraisal of social-ecological innovation as an adaptive response by stakeholders to local conditions: mapping stakeholder involvement in horticulture orientated green space management. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 18, pages. 86-94. DOI:10.1016/j.ufug.2016.05.010

Dennis, M, Armitage, R.P. and James, P., 2016, Social-ecological innovation: adaptive responses to urban environmental conditions. Urban Ecosystems, 19, pp. 1063-1082. DOI: 10.1007/s11252-016-0551-3.

Marston, C.G, Giraudoux, P, Armitage, R.P, Danson, FM, Reynolds, SC, Wang, Q, Qiu, J and Craig, P.S, 2016. Vegetation phenology and habitat discrimination: impacts for E.multilocularis transmission host modelling. Remote Sensing of Environment, 176, pages 320-327.  DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.02.015.

Chadwick, C.L., Springate, D.A., Rees, P.A., Armitage, R.P. and O’Hara, S.J, 2015, Calculating association indices in captive animals: controlling for enclosure size and shape.  Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 169, pages 100-106. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.05.001

Ogunbadewa, E.Y, Armitage, R.P and Danson, F.M., 2014. Optical medium spatial resolution satellite constellation data for monitoring woodland in the UK. Forests, 5, pages. 1798-1814. DOI: 10.3390/f5071798.

Danson, F.M., Gaulton, R., Armitage, R.P., Mathias, D., Gunawan, O.T., Philip, L., Pearson, G. and Ramirez, A., 2014. Developing a dual-wavelength full-waveform terrestrial laser scanner to characterise forest canopy structure. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 198, pages 7-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2014.07.007.

Marston, C.G, Danson, F.M. and Armitage, R.P. 2014. A random forest approach for predicting the presence of Echinococcus multilocularis intermediate host Ochotona spp. presence in relation to landscape characteristics in western China.  Applied Geography, 55, pages 176-183.  DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2014.09.001.