Prof. Abel Ramoelo - is a Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies, and Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria. Abel completed his first and second degrees in Environmental Sciences with Geography, Ecology and Resource Management as major subjects at the University of Venda, in 2003 and 2004, respectively. He then completed his MSc in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Management and Modelling at four European Universities: University of Southampton (UK), Lund University (Sweden), Warsaw University (Poland) and Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation (ITC), University of Twente (The Netherlands). As a remote sensing specialist, he has a PhD in remote sensing from the University of Twente (The Netherlands).
Abel worked as an Earth Observation research scientist for over-14 years, from Junior to Principal Researcher level, at the then Natural Resource and Environment Unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He joined South African National Parks (SANParks) in 2018 as a Regional Ecologist. He did not only focus on remote sensing research for assessing the vegetation state and change in National Parks, but also coordinated research activities beyond SANParks. He further acted as a conduit between scientists and management in addressing matters of biodiversity conservation.
He is the NRF-rated scientist (C2) with core expertise in mapping vegetation health assessment, species (including invasive), biochemistry, and productivity as well as water quality and quantity using optical (hyperspectral and multispectral) and active (LiDAR, and SAR) remote sensing data at various scales, for informing decision pertaining to natural resource and environmental management (i.e. biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change impact, water resources) and food security. I am also involved in projects focusing on land use land cover mapping, and change detection in natural, agricultural and urban landscapes. He co- and leads local and international projects related to the latter topics, benefitting students at various levels. He successfully supervised over 25 MScs and PhDs. He is currently supervising several Honours, MSc and PhD candidates, and published over 90 peer-reviewed scientific and conference proceeding papers and book chapters.
He is registered as a Professional Natural Scientist in the field of Geospatial Science with SACNASP. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the ISPRS International Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. He is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geo-Information Science. He is an Editor-in-Chief for SANParks’ KOEDOE journal: African Protected Area Conservation and Science Journal, Associate Editor for Multi – and Hyperspectral Imaging: Frontiers in Remote Sensing Journal and Associate Editor for Frontiers in Big Data: data-driven climate services. He is a member of the Geo-Information Society of South Africa (GISSA), the Society of South African Geographers, the African Association on Remote Sensing of Environment (AARSE), and the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE). He is a reviewer for several local and international journals.