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Dr. Greg McDermid, P.I.

PhD (University of Waterloo), MSc, BSc (University of Calgary)

Greg is a geospatial scientist whose research activities revolve around the application of remote sensing and other geospatial technologies to environmental monitoring and ecology. He is involved in a wide variety of interdisciplinary research collaborations in the fields of wildlife ecology, biodiversity assessment, ecological monitoring, plant-phenology assessment, and vegetation mapping. He's interested in a broad range of remote sensing and other GIScience pursuits, including UAVs, cloud computing, environmental modelling, and data fusion/integration.

mcdermid@ucalgary.ca |                   | UCalgary Website

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Dr. Scott Ketcheson, P.I.

PhD, MSc (University of Waterloo), BSc (McMaster University)

Scott is an Assistant Professor and NSERC Canada Research Chair in Hydrological Sustainability at Athabasca University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. As a field hydrologist, he studies the movement of water between forests, wetlands and streams in northern Alberta. His research program uses both traditional hydrological techniques and innovative sensor networks to gain a better understanding of the how headwater catchments work and their importance for keeping water flowing through streams and rivers within the lower Athabasca River Basin. Scott also collaborates on several projects including oil sands reclamation, peatland biogeochemistry & mercury dynamics, seismic line impacts & restoration, and wildfire vulnerability & peatlands.

People

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Post-Docs

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Eleanor Bash, Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD, MSc (University of Calgary), BA (Gustavus Adolphus College)

Eleanor is a glaciologist specializing in structure-from-motion for monitoring glacier melt and modelling of glacier mass change. She has worked extensively with UAV mapping in mountain environments and is interested in streamlining structure-from-motion workflows. Currently, she is working on integrating glacier melt and hydrology modelling with time lapse imagery to understand glacier surges in the St. Elias Mountains, Yukon Territory. In addition to her research, Eleanor serves on the Board of Directors for the Girls on Ice Canada Society, a Revelstoke-based non-profit whose aim is to give high school girls opportunities to explore field science in the mountains of Western Canada.

eleanor.bash@ucalgary.ca |                    |@glaciergirlie

Irina

Irina Terenteva, Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD (Moscow State University) , MSc (Moscow State University)

Irina is a postdoctoral fellow who joined the lab in Spring 2022. Her past work involved organizing and carrying out field investigations of peatlands, floodplains, lakes, and arctic areas of Western Siberia with a focus on large-scale greenhouse gas emission estimates and remote sensing. Her current research applies neural networks for object detection of seedlings using drone imagery. In her spare time, Irina enjoys traveling in remote locations and experiencing local cultures. She has participated in speleological expeditions to the deepest caves spending many days under the ground.

irina.terenteva@ucalgary.ca |                    |Google Scholar

Graduate Students

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BSc Hons (University of Calgary)

Colette Shellian, MSc Student

Colette is a Master’s student and joined the lab as a summer research assistant during her undergraduate degree. Colette is interested in forest ecology and using remote sensing techniques to understand forest regeneration in fragmented landscapes. Her current research investigates factors that influence seedling growth on seismic lines in Northern Alberta. In her spare time, Colette loves spending time in the mountains- whether it be hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking or skiing.

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Yusif Abdullai, MSc Student

BSc, MSc (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology)

Yusif is a Master’s student from Ghana. He joined the lab in Fall 2021 under the supervision of Greg McDermid. He is interested in forest monitoring with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). His research with BERA is focused on using UAV’s to assess and monitor natural recovery along seismic lines in the boreal forest of Alberta. In his spare time Yusif loves to go kayaking and play tennis.

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Tori Harrison, MSc Student

BSc (University of Calgary) 

Tori is a Master’s student with the AGRG looking at the distribution of soil moisture and organic material across headwater catchments of the Boreal Plains to predict wildfire risk. This project has piqued her interest in the future of wildfire safety in Canada as a result of current forest management practices and global warming. Tori is an avid outdoors lover and in her spare time loves to whitewater kayak, mountain bike, ski and travel around the world.

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Hannah Ponsonby, MSc Student

BSc Hons (McMaster University)

Hannah is a Master’s student and joined the lab in Fall 2021 under the supervision of Scott Ketcheson and Greg McDermid. Hannah is interested in hydrology and contaminated hydrogeology. Her current research investigates the hydrology of the Stony Mountain Headwater Catchment Observatory, which specifically looks at understanding the hydrological connectivity among swamp peatlands, forest, and headwater streams. In her spare time, Hannah loves being active – whether it is at the gym, hiking, snowmobiling, ice fishing or walks with her sister.

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Lelia Weiland, MSc Student

BSc Hons (McMaster University)

Lelia is a Master's student joining the lab under the supervision of Dr. Scott Ketcheson. She is studying the hydrology of seismic lines in Northern Alberta with the BERA research group, in order to improve upon current restoration practices. This includes looking at surface topography, soils and underlying water tables to understand how hydrophysical properties are affected by the formation of seismic lines. In her spare time, Lelia likes to rock climb, hike, slackline and recently joined the rowing team.

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Tanya Yeomans, MSc Student

BSc, BA (University of Calgary)

Tanya is a Master's student interested in the intersection of remote sensing, GIS, open data, and public service. Her BERA research is focused on using satellite imagery and time-series analysis in Google Earth Engine to assess vegetation recovery on boreal forest disturbances. Outside of her studies Tanya is an active member of the broader Calgary data community with a particular interest in data literacy and accessibility.

 
 

Visiting Students

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Marlis Hegels

BSc (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany)

Marlis is a visiting research student from Germany starting her master's thesis on solar irradiance on seismic lines. She has completed her bachelor degree in geography with a minor in computer science at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and has experience in geospatial programming. In her free time she enjoys outdoor sports like skiing, mountainbiking and hiking.

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Niklas Heiss

BSc (Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany)

Niklas Heiss is a German master student at LMU Munich and currently working on his thesis within the BERA project. He works on the topic of how to use Radar interferometry as a technique for mapping surface deformations around peatland linear disturbances. During his Bachelor degree in geography and his minor physics (also at LMU) he gained knowledge about remote sensing, GIS, AI, hydrology and optics. In his recreational time he is skiing, hiking, biking or playing saxophone in his band.

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Patrick Klotz

BSc (University of Augsburg, Germany)

Patrick graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Geography from the University of Augsburg and is currently enrolled in a Masters program at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich, studying environmental Monitoring and Management. He is working with BERA through the Mitacs Globalink Research Award under the supervision of Greg McDermid and Ralf Ludwig in the remote sensing team. His research focus is on mapping human and animal use on seismic lines from high resolution stereo-imagery through machine learning techniques.

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Jasper Koch

BSc (Albert-Ludwigs-University, Germany)

Jasper Koch is joining BERA as part of an exchange program with Ludwigs-Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany. Where he is currently completing his MSc in Environmental Systems and Sustainability. The focus of his work will be on remote sensing microtopography and the watertable. In his free time he enjoys to climb, ski, hike and experience adventures.

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Lauren Rawlins

MSc (University of York)

Lauren is a glaciology PhD student based at the University of York, UK, where her research focuses on mapping and examining of the evolution of the supraglacial hydrologic network on the Greenland Ice Sheet at a range of spatial and temporal scales using both remote sensing and UAV applications. Lauren’s interests also include teaching and science communication, with her being actively involved in outreach education.

 

Summer Students

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Nicole Byford

BSc Hons (University of Lethbridge)

Nicole is a Master’s student joining BERA’s remote sensing team under the supervision of Greg McDermid. Her research is focused on using aerial remote sensing technologies to assess vegetation recovery along seismic lines in northern Alberta. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, and reading.

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Xue Yan Chan

BSc (University of Alberta)

Xue Yan is a Master's student joining BERA's remote sensing team in Fall 2022. Xue Yan is a drone operator and her research is focused on linking plant traits to drone-based remote sensing datasets. She's interested in using machine learning methods for 2-D and 3-D image analysis.

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Alejandro Caguao

BSc (University of Calgary)

Alejandro is an urban study graduate from the University of Calgary, currently working towards completing a MGIS program. My interest vary from remote sensing, specifically working with LiDAR data, to creating models for habitat suitability, urban mapping and understanding more ways to improve Woodland Caribou habitat.

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Sara Heerema

BSc (University of Calgary)

Sara has just completed her Bachelor of Science in Geography at the University of Calgary. She is working as a summer research assistant with BERA in order to further her knowledge of Boreal ecosystems and restoration before continuing on to her Master's Degree in Environmental Studies in the fall.

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Sean Hillson

University of Calgary

Sean is entering his third year at the University of Calgary, majoring in Earth Science. Sean is interested in using Remote Sensing to further understand the interaction between habitat loss and wildlife in Alberta. Sean's hobbies include fly-fishing, upland hunting, paddling, and birdwatching.

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Hunter Jackson

University of Calgary

Hunter is an undergraduate student working with the BERA research team this summer. Growing up in rural Alberta, he has always been passionate about the natural world, working in environmental reclamation and native plant horticulture. Outside of school and work, Hunter enjoys keeping himself busy with hiking, camping, and hanging out with friends. He is also an active member of the hip-hop dance community here in Calgary.

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Cameron Torrance

BSc (University of Calgary)

Cameron is a research assistant with the U of C and BERA project, applying experience he gained in his ecology bachelors degree. Cameron is looking to pursue a career in conservation biology, applying his experience to preserve and restore the natural habitats of Canada and the rest of the world.

 
 

Staff

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Julia Linke, BERA Spatial Ecologist

BSc (UNB), MSc, PhD (University of Calgary)

Dr. Julia Linke is a spatial ecologist with a B. Sc. degree in forestry and environmental management (University of New Brunswick 1999) and M. Sc. and PhD degrees in geography (University of Calgary in 2003 and 2010).  Her research interests include the applications of GIS and remote sensing data and tools for the monitoring, modeling, mapping and landscape pattern analysis of forest ecosystems.  She joined the Applied Geospatial Research Group in March 2016 as scientific coordinator for the NSERC BERA-project team to facilitate communication between members of the research team, collaborators, partners and the public and to assist coordinating cross-teamed research collaborations.

Mir Mustafizur Rahman, Research Associate

PhD (University of Calgary), MSc (Asian Institue of Technology),

BSc (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology)

Mustafiz envisions himself as a Geospatial Scientist, developing innovative geospatial solutions for understanding and monitoring the physical environment at different scales, whether within multi-faced and diverse urban settings or broader natural settings. Consequently, he is involved in a variety of multidisciplinary research projects in the field of ecological modeling, wetland and vegetation mapping, grassland mapping and plant phenology analysis, and Urban Planning and Urban Energy Budget. The ultimate goal of his research works is to continue working towards a flexible and holistic approach to the use of geospatial tools for large-area resource management.

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Richard Zeng, Research Associate

PhD (University of Calgary), MSc (Asian Institue of Technology),

BSc (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology)

Richard is working in role of Geospatial Research Technician for BERA Project, providing technical support for team members as well as developing software tools to manage and analyze geospatial data generated during research activities. Richard has rich experiences in remote sensing and GIS on both software development and data processing. He is interested in web-based geospatial data analysis, machine learning applications in remote sensing and drone related data automation.

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Claudia Maurer, Research Admin Assisstant

Bachelor's Degree (Architecture)

Claudia Maurer is the administration assistant for three research teams in the department of Geology at the University of Calgary, including the group of Dr. Greg McDermid. Originally from Germany, where she received a degree in Architecture, she changed careers in 2011 and joined the University of Calgary. She held various administrative roles and has gained expert understanding of the University’s systems and processes both from the operational and research side. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, skiing, and spending time with her family and friends.

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Maverick Fong

SAIT

Maverick has a degree in Surveying and Information Technology.  He has years of oversea surveying experience using total stations, GNSS, and UAV to collect data; create and maintain geospatial data, create maps in the ArcGIS enterprise environment in the past employments.  He joined the lab as a Co-op summer practicum student and now provides field and technical expertise. Integrating field surveying experiences with GIS skills has made him ready for the coming challenge of real-world applications.

Recent Graduates

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Ian Perry, MSc (2021)

Thesis: Methods for Fire Severity Assessments with Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

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Silvia Alejandra Losada, MSc (2021)

Thesis: Remote sensing of understorey vegetation using LiDAR

Where is she now: Silvia works as a GIS analyst in Calgary.

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Lucy Poley, PhD (2020)

Thesis: Modelling and Mapping Fine-Scale Grassland Vegetation Biomass in Banff National Park Using Remotely Sensed Data Collected by Unmanned Aerial Systems

Where is she now: Lucy is the Canada KBA Ecosystems Criteria Coordinator, National Conservation Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

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Gus Lopes Queiroz, MSc (2019)

Thesis: Remote sensing of boreal coarse woody debris

Where is he now: Gus works as a GIS analyst at CGG in Calgary.

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Shannon Blackadder, MSc (2019)

Thesis: Modelling Whitebark Pine Distribution in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem

Where is she now: Shannon works at the University of Calgary.

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Annie He, MSc (2018)

Thesis: Estimating peatland shrub biomass from allometrics and UAV imagery

Where is she now: Annie is a small-business owner in her hometown of Calgary!

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Julie Lovitt, MSc (2017)

Thesis: UAV photogrammetry to characterize peatland microtopography

Where is she now: Julie is a Geomatics Environmental Analyst at Natural Resources Canada in Ottawa, Ontario.

 

Grad Student Alumni

Name

Ian Perry

Silvia Alejandra Losada

Lucy Poley

Gus Lopes

Shannon Blackadder

Annie He

Shijuan Chen

David Laskin

Corey Feduck

Adam McLane

Tania Garcia Bravo 

Tariq Munir 

Nils Kaplan

Raul Wood

Brent Smith

Allison Zimmer

Chunhua Zhang

Jeff Wielki

William McInnis

Adrian Faraguna

David Birkigt

Andrea Ram

Julia Linke

Erin Latham

Aleksandra Sobol

Ben Curry

Shadan Sanii

Jennifer Hird

Iain Smith

Sarah Miall

Adam McLane

Katie Yalte

Dan Austin

Prasanna Man Shrestha

Sangeeta Guha 

Year 

2021

2021

2020

2019

2019

2018

2017

2016

2016

2016

2015
2014
2014
2014
2013
2013
2012
2012
2012
2011
2011
2011
2010
2010
2009
2008
2008
2008
2007
2007
2007
2007
2006
2006
2007

Degree

MSc

MSc

PhD

MSc

MSc

MSc

MSc

PhD

MGIS

PhD

MSc
PhD
MSc
MSc
MSc
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MSc
MGIS
MGIS
PhD
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MSc
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS
MGIS

Thesis Summary

Fire severity assessment with RPAS

Remote sensing of understory vegetation

Remote sensing of bison forage biomass 

Remote sensing of coarse woody debris 

Whitebark pine distribution modelling

Peatlands shrub biomass estimation

UAV photogrammetry

Remote sensing of plant phenology

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Clark's nutcracker habitat modelling

Peatland restoration
Peatland functioning
Habitat modelling of bull and cutthroat trout
Climate Change Impacts on Hydrology
Grasslands mapping
Habitat modelling of cattle
Object-based accuracy assessment
Fire severity mapping
Native grasslands mapping
Mountain pine beetle susceptibility
Aquatic biomass estimation
Changes in Alberta grizzly bear habitat
Grizzly bear habitat monitoring
Changes in Sierra-Nevada sheep habitat
Grizzly bear home range delineation
Forest disturbance mapping and detection
LiDAR data processing
Analysis of NDVI time series for phenology
Mapping whitebark pine in Waterton Lakes
Knowledge formulation: pixels vs objects
Processing LiDAR data for canopy closure
Relative change  detection
Object and  pixel-based classification
Spatial modeling of  vegetation structure
Quantification of depression storage

Research Associates 

 

Name

Dr. David Laskin

Dr. Julia Linke
Dr. Jordan Eamer
Dr. Mustafizur Rahman
Shannon Blackadder
Jennifer Hird
Alessandro Montaghi 
Dr. Guillermo Castilla
Will McInnes
Deep Mazumdar
Tracy Timmins
Dr. Anna Hernando
David Laskin
Adam McLane

Role

Research associate, Parks Canada

Science Coordinator, BERA 

Research associate, CloudUAV 
Research associate, Biodiversity monitoring

Research associate, ecological indicators    
Research associate, biodiversity monitoring

Post-doc, LiDAR remote sensing    
Post-doc, biodiversity monitoring    
Research associate, ecological indicators
Research associate, biodiversity monitoring
Research associate, ecological indicators

Post-doc, object-based analysis    
Research associate, bear habitat modelling
Research associate, caribou habitat modelling

Years Active

2017-present

2016-present
2016-2017
2014-present
2013-present
2009-present
2014-2016
2009-2014
2012-2013
2011-2012
2011-2012
2011
2006-2009
2007-2009