Meet Our Team


Prof Albert Van Dijk


+61 2 612 52197
Frank Fenner Building (141)


Albert Van Dijk received his undergraduate, Master’s degree (1996) and PhD (2002) in Environmental Sciences from VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

He was with CSIRO Land and Water from 2003 to 2012, where he won awards for his leadership role in the Murray-Darling Sustainable Yields project, possibly the most ambitious water resources study ever undertaken, and subsequently, for leading development of the Australian Water Resources Assessment system, a model-data integration system now operational in the Bureau of Meteorology.

Professor Van Dijk has authored more than 130 publications. His research often addresses the interaction between vegetation and the hydrological cycle and related processes, such as soil erosion, nutrient cycling, salinity, the surface energy balance, the carbon cycle, fire risk, biodiversity, ecological resilience, and crop growth.

He has a passion for practical research applications, including the observation and forecasting of natural hazards, water resources, environmental condition and agricultural production. The theory and technology involved are drawn from environmental science and management, satellite remote sensing, IT, statistics and simulation modelling.

Professor Van Dijk was inaugural chair and is currently co-chair of the Australian Energy and Water Exchange Initiative (OzEWEX).


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Dr Marta Yebra

Senior Scientist

+61 2 612 54107
Frank Fenner Building (141)


Marta’s main background is in remote sensing of vegetation biophysical properties, such as fuel load and moisture content for spatial fire risk analysis, and canopy conductance for carbon sequestration and water balance studies.

From 2004-2010 she was employed at the University of Alcala, where she was involved in two large multidisciplinary projects which assessed and integrated the main fire risk factors, validated the results and analysed fire risk trends, considering potential changes in socio-economic factors as well as foreseen impacts of global climate change. During her research, she spent time at the Centre for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing (University of California at Davis, USA); the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA, Argentina) and the School of Environmental and Life Sciences of Salford (UK).

From 2010 to 2013 Marta was a postdoctoral fellow at CSIRO Land and Water as developing innovative methods to integrate satellite and in-situ observations from micrometeorological tower sites with models to predict carbon-water coupling.

In 2017, Dr Yebra was awarded the prestigious Max Day Environmental Science Fellowship from the Australian Academy of Science.

Marta is an Associate Editor for the journal Remote Sensing of Environment

Dr Luigi Renzullo

Senior Scientist

+61 2 612 52647
Frank Fenner Building (141)


Dr Luigi Renzullo is a senior research scientist with over 14 years experience in areas such as: atmospheric correction of satellite data, hyperspectral sensing in the viticulture industry, landscape carbon and water balance modelling, and satellite rainfall and soil moisture applications for water resources assessments.

His interests are best summarised as “exploring the role that earth observations can play in land management decision support, especially as constraints on biophysical models through techniques of model-data fusion and data assimilation”.  An example includes his current work on integrating satellite precipitation and soil moisture information with numerical weather prediction in a global root-zone moisture forecasting system.

Rowena Smith

Executive Administrator

Dr Pablo Larraondo

Research Fellow

+61 2612 51495


Pablo Larraondo has an MSc in Distributed Systems (2011) from the University of Navarra and PhD in Computer Science (2019) from the University of the Basque Country, in Spain. His PhD research addressed the application of machine learning techniques to analyse weather forecasting data.

Pablo has more than 15 years experience as a scientific software developer. He started his career at the Spanish (AEMET) and European (ECMWF) weather forecasting centres, and subsequently worked at CSIRO and the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). His focus was on developing large scale software systems to process massive remote sensing and weather data.

Pablo’s research interest are in developing and combining large scale data processing systems and machine learning methodologies to understand the relationship between dynamic processes in the atmosphere and at the Earth’s surface.

Dr Siyuan Tian

Research Fellow

+61 2 612 58129


Siyuan Tian received her Master’s degree in Geomatics (2013) from the University of Melbourne and her PhD (2019) in Earth Sciences from the Australian National University. In her PhD she addressed the potential of forecasting drought impacts months ahead through the assimilation of multiple satellite water observations into an ecohydrological model.

Siyuan is an early career researcher with a strong background in remote sensing, hydrology and geodesy. She was involved in several multidisciplinary research projects such as biomass modelling using radar and LiDAR observations, UAV data collection and fusion, burn severity mapping, and improving operational and forecast modelling with data assimilation. She is interested in exploring the use of Earth Observations together with biophysical modelling to understand the interaction between the vegetation and the hydrologic cycle.

Areas of interest:
• Satellite remote sensing
• Data assimilation
• Land surface modelling
• Water resources assessments
• Ecohydrology
• Geomatic engineering

Dale Hughes

Senior Engineer

Dale has a Bachelor of Science with a Physics major from Wollongong University and an Electronics Engineering Certificate from NSW TAFE. Dale started work in atmospheric science as a member of the 1994 Australian Antarctic Expedition to Davis station where he worked with various optical and radar instruments to measure aspects of the upper atmosphere. Following his return to Australia he started work with CSIRO as an experimental scientist working in the Land-Air Interaction research group and this work covered experiments in the CSIRO boundary layer wind tunnel and various CSIRO field sites, most notably the Tumbarumba field site in southern New South Wales. Since 2016 Dale has worked with the ANU Fenner School Water and Landscape Dynamics group developing specialised optical and thermal remote sensing equipment for studying forest eco-dynamics.

Main Research Interests
• Development of research instrumentation for optical and thermal remote sensing systems.
• Creation of software for instrument control and data analysis.

Jiawei Hou

postdoctoral researcher

     Robertson Building (46)


Jiawei Hou is a PhD student at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. He completed Bachelor and Master Degrees on hydrology and hydrogeology in Jilin University, China. His research interests are remote sensing, hydrological model, and data assimilation. His PhD research topic is enhanced river flow forecasting at global scale through satellite-based river gauging and data assimilation


Hou, J., A. I. J. M. van Dijk, H. E. Beck, Global satellite-based river gauging and the influence of river morphology on its application. Remote Sensing of Environment 239, 111629 (2020). (link)

Hou, J., A. I. J. M. van Dijk, L. J. Renzullo, R. A. Vertessy, N. Mueller, Hydromorphological attributes for all Australian river reaches derived from Landsat dynamic inundation remote sensing. (2019). Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 11, 1003–1015 (link)

Hou, J., A. I. J. M. van Dijk, L. J. Renzullo, R. A. Vertessy, Using modelled discharge to develop satellite-based river gauging: a case study for the Amazon Basin. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 22, 6435-6448 (2018). (link)

Shoshana Rapley

Shoshana Rapley

Research Officer
Matt Gale

Matt Gale

Research Officer

Affiliate Staff

Dr Peter Hairsine

Honorary Fellow

Research concerning sediment transport, water quality and catchment hydrology

Leader of journal paper writing workshops – professional development for researchers aimed at improving the efficiency of journal paper writing

Development of techniques for mitigating various forms of soil erosion

Consulting work concerning the management of terrestrial erosion as impacting the Great Barrier Reef

Prof. Alex Held

Honorary Professor

Prof. Arnold Dekker

Honorary Professor


Arnold Dekker focuses on innovative methods and applications using earth observation (EO) for aquatic ecosystems. He leads international research involving earth observation of all aquatic resources from inland waters to estuaries, coastal waters, coral reefs and oceans. Till recently he was Director of the CSIRO Earth Observation & Informatics Future Science Platform. He is a council member of the Australian Marine Science Association and the Australian Earth Observation Coordinating Group. His multiple international positions enabled him to enhance Australia’s international reputation, ensuring Australian access to international space agency satellite data; influencing global science and being a trusted advisor.


Tony Boston

Visiting Fellow

+61 448 514 428
Frank Fenner Building (141)


B.Sc. (Hons) (ANU), Grad. Dip. Computing Studies (UC)

Tony has more than 30 years experience in the development of integrated national information systems based on the aggregation of data from agencies across Australia. He has done this for a range of scientific and collections-based organisations, including geoscience and environment agencies, libraries, museums, herbaria, archives and galleries. Tony has extensive expertise in geographic information management including development of national and international data standards and systems for data collection, storage and management.

Tony’s APS career included executive roles within the Department of the Environment, National Library of Australia and Bureau of Meteorology. At the Bureau, Tony was responsible for development of a national database of surface and groundwater information that underpins the Water Information Program and products such as the National Water Account and Australian Water Resource Assessments.

Research Students

Chiara Holgate

PhD student

Chiara is an early career hydrologist with a background in project-based water resources engineering. Chiara holds strong quantitative, analytical and written skills, and is experienced in developing and executing field- and office-based collaborations across a range of hydrological applications.
Since completing a Master of Science in Hydrology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Chiara is currently pursuing her passion for water resources by completing a Doctor of Philosophy at the Australian National University. Her research addresses the influence of land-atmosphere interactions on the onset and end of droughts and how this might contribute to improved forecasting capability.

Wentao Ye

PhD student

Wentao is a Ph.D. student in Fenner School of Environment & Society at ANU. Wentao received his Bachelor’s degree in geoinformatics from China University of Geoscience (2011) and Master’s degree in remote sensing from Wuhan University (2013). His research interests include remotely sensed data science in environment, global vegetation dynamics and ecosystem response to climate change.
Wentao’s project uses satellite observations to analyze global vegetation dynamics.

Simon Walker

PhD student

Simon Walker is a PhD researcher studying processes that drive gully erosion and the role gullies play in delivering sediment to the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

Areas of interest:
• Earth systems
• Geologic processes
• Remote sensing
• Spatial analysis
• Programming

His research is jointly funded by the Australian National University (through the Australian Government Research Training Program) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.

Li Zhao

PhD student

PhD Student
     Robertson Building (46)

Li Zhao completed a Bachelor of Hydrology at the Jilin University, China in 2003 and a Master of Groundwater Science and Engineering at the China University of Geosciences, Beijing in 2006. Her research interests include soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer modelling, soil moisture, hydrology and hydrogeology. Currently, Li is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University, focusing on the topic ‘’Spatially forecasting coupled litter and root zone moisture dynamics’’.

Sami Shah

Sami Shah

PhD student

Yizhi Li

PhD student

Gianluca Scortechini

PhD student