Dr. Luke Brown

School of Science, Engineering and Environment

Photo of Dr. Luke Brown

Contact Details

Peel Building

Office hours: Tuesday 11am-12pm; Thursday 1-2pm




Current positions

Lecturer in GIS & Remote Sensing

I joined the University of Salford as Lecturer in GIS & Remote Sensing in October 2022, having previously worked at the University of Southampton as a Senior Research Fellow (2021-2022), Senior Research Assistant (2018-2021), and Research Technician (2017-2018), whilst also completing a part-time PhD in Remote Sensing (2015-2021). Prior to this, I undertook an MSc in Applied Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (2014-2015) and a BSc (Hons) in Geography (2011-2014).

I have published more than 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and co-authored proposals worth in excess of £1.4m in combined research income, including projects funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) – see the ‘Research Interests’ tab below for further details.

Through these activities, I have developed links with international bodies including ESA and the Land Product Validation (LPV) sub-group of the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Working Group on Calibration and Validation (WGCV), as well as with major research infrastructure networks including the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) in the United States, the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) in Australia, and the Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS) in Europe.

Areas of research

Biophysical & Biochemical Variable Retrieval, Calibration/Validation, Earth Observation, Field Spectroscopy, In Situ Measurements, Uncertainty Evaluation, Vegetation Remote Sensing

Areas of supervision

Areas of research: Biophysical & Biochemical Variable Retrieval, Calibration/Validation, Earth Observation, Field Spectroscopy, In Situ Measurements, Uncertainty Evaluation, Vegetation Remote Sensing


I deliver research-led teaching in GIS & Remote Sensing on a range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including:

  • L5: Consultancy Project
  • L5: Geographic Information Systems & Science
  • L5: Monitoring Environmental Change
  • L6: Environmental Geographic Information Systems
  • L6: Global Rivers in a Changing Climate
  • L7: Geographic Information Systems & Remote Sensing for Wildlife Conservation
  • L7: Postgraduate Scholarship Skills
  • L7: Research Design & Delivery

Research Interests

My research focuses on i) the use of optical remote sensing to retrieve vegetation biophysical & biochemical properties (enabling vegetation health to be quantified from the air and from space), and ii) the validation of these retrievals using in situ measurement techniques (to ensure they can provide accurate inputs to models of crop yield, carbon exchange, and the weather and climate systems).

An important strand of my work involves environmental sensing, including the use of automated field instruments that can be deployed on a long-term basis to provide temporally continuous in situ data, as well as unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) to enable traditional in situ measurement approaches to be applied to wider and more difficult to reach areas. I have also developed methods to quantify the uncertainties associated with in situ reference measurements of biophysical and biochemical variables in a traceable, end-to-end manner.

Some recent research projects I’ve been involved in include

  • Fiducial Reference Measurements for Vegetation (FRM4VEG) – ESA 
  • Ground Based Observations for Validation of Copernicus Global Land Products (GBOV) – JRC
  • Sentinel Optical Mission Performance Cluster – ESA
  • Sentinel-3 Mission Performance Centre – ESA

Qualifications and Memberships


  • PhD Remote Sensing, University of Southampton, 2015-2021
  • MSc Applied Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing (with Distinction), University of Southampton, 2014-2015
  • BSc (Hons) Geography (First Class), University of Southampton, 2011-2014

Professional associations

  • Association of Geographic Information (AGI)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Advisory groups

  • Sentinel-2 Validation Team, 2016-present
  • Sentinel-3 Validation Team, 2017-2022
  • Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) Quality Working Group (QWG), 2017
  • MERIS Validation Team (MVT), 2017