Matthew Brolly


  • Lewes Road, School of Environment and Technology, Cockcroft Building

    BN2 4GJ Brighton

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

I am a Pincipal Lecturer in the subject area of Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) within the School of Environment and Technology. I joined the University in September 2013 after completing a NASA funded research role in the USA and have been enjoying helping students learn from my knowledge and experiences ever since.

My teaching and research is focussed on the following key areas:

  • Ecosystem remote sensing. Specifically how we can use satellite and airborne sensing systems to tell us more about the quantity, quality, health, and structure of vegetation across all ecosystems.
  • Image processing and analysis. Using optical, radar, and lidar datasets to present added information for subsequent use in environmental modelling, such as climate models, or even for archaeological and heritage purposes. These datasets could be related to topography, land cover, or presence of atmospheric particles.
  • Quantitative methods. Mathematical and statistical methods to aid my research in uncovering hidden relationships between data variables, and through this research pass on this knowledge to students to create insightful and informative analyses of their own.


The majority of my work is conducted in my office using computers to help handle the masses of data associated with acquired imagery but I also have the pleasure of working in the field from time to time to look at vegetation and the characteristics that flora on our planet possess. This helps me to validate the information I gain from the remote sensing systems.

Approach to teaching

Teaching students is the highlight of my job. Although my joint research role allows me to further my own knowledge and address real world problems that benefit society, it is through interactions with inquisitive minds I am rewarded the most. It is also an area where I continue to learn thanks to the wonderful students I encounter with their unique life experiences, and individuality, that they bring to our university. As part of my teaching I aim to inspire our students to achieve great things and to go deeper into learning than they thought they were capable of

I love teaching students about my specialist area which is remote sensing. In particular radar remote sensing. Although this subject is complex I aim to give you an experience that develops your remote sensing knowledge at each year of your learning through compulsory and optional modules. I strive to deliver interesting and informative sessions in lecture, tutorial, and computer lab settings throughout your time at the university with one of the great things about my subject being the practical application of the techniques you learn across multiple subject areas, and walks of life. We use our own senses in so many ways and it’s a delight to see students using additional senses provided by cameras and other sensors to further that experience. To help students outside the classroom I’m a big believer in guided independent work allowing you to experience situations that you may face in the working world in this field. To support this I create regular videos and guided reading content to help you throughout your degree.

Supervisory Interests

I’m interested in supervising postgraduate projects in all areas relating to remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS) but particularly those which study ecosystems and ecosystem change and technological developments in relation to this. I currently supervise PhD students conducting remote sensing of carvings at Stonehenge, monitoring oil pollution in Nigerian mangroves, modelling seagrass growth in the Arabian Gulf, assessing wine quality from remotely detected vine characteristics in English vineyards, mapping disease prevalence in Cameroon, modelling sediment deposits on the river Lugg, and examining the statistical impact of trench mapping in archaeology.  I would like to encourage students to pursue their interests in this field by applying for PhD study or to join the MSc Geographical Information Systems and Environmental Management degree at the University of Brighton following undergraduate studies.

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Award Date: 3 Dec 2018

PhD, University of Edinburgh

1 Oct 20071 Sep 2011

Award Date: 1 Jul 2012

Master, University of Bradford

1 Oct 20041 Jul 2005

Award Date: 1 Jul 2005

Bachelor, University of Edinburgh

1 Oct 20001 Jul 2004

Award Date: 1 Jul 2004

External positions

Adjunct Assistant Research Professor, University of Maryland, College Park

1 Oct 2013 → …

Research Associate, University of Maryland, College Park

1 Oct 20111 Oct 2013

Geophysicist, GSB Prospection Ltd.

1 Oct 20051 Oct 2007


  • QC Physics
  • Electromagnetism
  • Radiative transfer
  • Scattering
  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • Forest Biomass
  • Vegetation
  • Remote sensing
  • G Geography (General)


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