Prof. Abel Ramoelo recently joined the University of Pretoria as a Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies, and Associate Professor at the Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology.
Prof. Ramoelo was trained as an environmental scientist with Geospatial skills - remote sensing and geographic information systems, completing first and second degrees in Environmental Sciences with Geography, Ecology and Resource Management as major subjects at the University of Venda, 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 by profession, he holds a PhD in remote sensing from the University of Twente (The Netherlands).
Prof. Ramoelo worked as a 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). In 2018, he joined South African National Parks (SANParks) as a Regional Ecologist. At SANParks, he not only focused on remote sensing research for assessing the vegetation state and change in National Parks, but also coordinated research activities beyond SANParks, worked as a conduit between scientists and management on addressing matters of biodiversity conservation.
Prof Ramoelo has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific and conference papers, as well as book chapters. A registered Professional Natural Scientist in the field of Geospatial Science with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), he is also an NRF rated scientist with core expertise on 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 about natural resource and environmental management (i.e., biodiversity conservation, land degradation, climate change impact, water resources), and food security. Currently, Prof. Ramoelo is also involved in projects focusing on land cover and land use mapping, and change detection in natural, agricultural, and urban landscapes.
Having successfully supervised over 17 MScs and PhDs, he currently supervises several Honours, Masters, and Doctoral candidates with various Universities. An active reviewer for several local and international journals, he is a member of the Editorial Board for the ISPRS International Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, as well as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geo-Information Science; Editor-in-Chief for SANParks’ KOEDOE: African Protected Area Conservation and Science journal, and Associate Editor for Frontiers in Remote Sensing: Multi- and Hyper-Spectral Imaging. He is a member of the Geo-Information Society of South Africa (GISSA), South African Wetland Society, the African Association on Remote Sensing of Environment (AARSE), and the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE).
The CFES and Department welcome Professor Ramoelo and look forward to working with him.