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Keynote Speakers

GUO Huadong
Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), Chinese Academy of Sciences

GUO Huadong is a Professor of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), an Academician of CAS, a Foreign Member of Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). He presently serves as Chair of the Digital Belt and Road (DBAR) Program, President of the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), Director of the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the Auspices of UNESCO, Director of the CAS-TWAS Center of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM), and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Digital Earth. He served as President of ICSU Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA). He has over 30 years of experience in Earth observation, specializing in radar remote sensing and Digital Earth science. He has been Principle Investigator for over 30 major national projects in China, and Principle Investigator for 7 international radar remote sensing projects. Prof. Guo has published more than 400 papers and sixteen books, and is the principal awardee of sixteen domestic and international prizes.

Bettina BARUTH
European Commission, Joint Research Centre

Dr Bettina Baruth works since more than 15 years in the field of agricultural monitoring and crop yield forecasting. She graduated in Geography with a focus on Remote Sensing applications for landscape ecology and worked several years for the German Remote Sensing Data Centre (DLR/DFD) before joining the Joint Research Centre. Her Ph.D. dealt with the potential of landscape metrics derived from remote sensing to describe landscape patterns. Current activities are related to the usage of remote sensing for yield and production forecast and crop growth modelling. She is the editor of the European MARS Crop Monitoring Bulletin. Bettina holds the position as Deputy Head of the Food Security Unit and co-chairs the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative (GEOGLAM).

Institute for Scientific Research of Aerospace Monitoring "AEROCOSMOS" (ISR “AEROCOSMOS”), Moscow, Russia

A tentative title: Remote Sensing of Seas and Oceans in Tropical and Subtropical Regions

Academician, Professor Valery Bondur is a Director of State scientific Institution "Institute for Scientific Research of Aerospace Monitoring "AEROCOSMOS" (ISR “AEROCOSMOS”) and a Presidium member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). He leads the Division of Oceanology, Atmospheric Physics, and Geography of the RAS Earth Sciences Department. His scientific activity is related to the Earth research from space, development of basic physics and system-wide principles for creation of aerospace systems for monitoring of ocean, atmosphere, land, geological environment, and near-Earth space in the context of the Earth sciences, environment protection, rational use of natural resources, prevention of dangerous natural and technogenic processes, etc. He has published more than 340 peer-reviewed research articles (more than 650 scientific works in total) with >11000 citations. His h-index is 63 in RSCI. He acted as a Principal Investigator of 50 national and 10 international research projects (EU, USA, and China). Academician Bondur has been twice awarded the Russian Government Award in the sphere of science and technology. He has various governmental awards of the Russian Federation. He has supervised 24 PhD theses and 10 doctoral theses, more than 30 times he acted as an opponent at PhD defenses. He reviewed 106 papers in 10 journals. He is an Editor-in-Chief of the “Issledovanie Zemli iz kosmosa” Journal / Izvestiya. Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics, a member of editorial board in “Oceanology”, “Geodesy and Cartography”, “Aerospace Research in Bulgaria”, and “Marine Hydrophysical Journal”.

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM)

A tentative title: Remote Sensing for Integrated Coastal Zone Management: UAV interventions

Professor Mazlan Hashim has spent over 30 years in the teaching, research and development, and project management of remote sensing, geospatial related applications and surveying equipment including field radiometry. His interest is in the rigorous development and innovation of diverse remote sensing and geopatial applications for natural resources and environmental management as well as nation strtategic planning. He has led several national and international collaborative studies in remote sensing and geospatial technology applications, with wide publications in more than 200 SCI (Science-citation indexed) articles, more than 300 conference proceedings, and several books. He received various awards at both national and international levels for his outstanding research and innovations in the field of geospatial sciences and its applications. Amongst others, he is co-recipient of the Eduard Dolezal award 1996 by International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), Eco-frontier Award 2002 by Global Environment Research Fund Japan, and Top Research Scientists Malaysia by Malaysia Academy of Sciences. Currently Prof Hashim is the Senior Director of Research Institute of Sustainable Environment, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM); and Fellow of the Geoscience and Digital Earth Centre (INSTeG), UTM. He is also Fellow and life member of Institution of Geospatial and Remote Sensing Malaysia. He has 5 patents – granted, pending and disclosed, a founder and managing director of UTM-spinoff Company – Geospatial & Utility Services (GUS) Pte. Ltd formed since 2016.

Andre (Alex) HELD
CSIRO, Australia

A tentative title: Earth Observation Data Analytics for Global Challenges: The DataCube Solution

Dr. Held the Director of the Australian remote sensing data facility of the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), and the 2016 Chair of the “Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). Alex also served as the Head of the CSIRO Office of Space Science and Applications (COSSA) from 2004 -2007. Dr. Held has 25 years of experience in terrestrial remote sensing in CSIRO, and has led several projects and research teams since then. His PhD is from the University of California, Davis in the area of plant physiology. Dr. Held has focused his work on designing ways for better use of satellite earth observation data in agriculture, disasters and ecosystem science. He currently leads multi-national teams in CEOS involved in designing future data architectures for earth observation, as well as on the use of EO data for achieving sustainable development goals. He is an active delegate for Australia on the Group on Earth Observation (GEO), and in particular has been part of the original leadership of the Global Forest Observation Initiative – GFOI, under GEO. Alex has been the lead since 2013 of “GEOGLAM RAPP” http://www.geo– ), a grassland and livestock monitoring system of GEO.

JIAO Nianzhi
Xiamen University

A temporary title: Land-Ocean Integrated strategy for carbon sequestration and sustainable development

Dr. Nianzhi Jiao, Fellow of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Associate Director of the Standing Committee of the Division of Earth Sciences, CAS; Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the advancement of science in developing countries; Cheung Kong Chair Professor, State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science at Xiamen University.

Dr. Jiao has published more than 300 research papers and given more than 90 invited talks on various academic conferences. He elucidated the global distribution pattern of an important functional group of bacteria -- Aerobic Anoxyenic Phototrophic Bacteria (AAPB) and clarified the conflicts between theoretical speculations and field observations; He discovered unexpected two sets of photosynthetic operons in an AAPB strain and isolated the first virus of AAPB, RDJLΦ1; He showed that bacterial Chla-based phototrophy can be critical for a marine region to be a “sink” or a “source” of atmospheric CO2, and addressed related paradoxes in coastal and upwelling system; Dr. Jiao found novel cyanobacterial lineages in the global ocean, discovered the unusual presence of tiny oligotrophic oceanic phototrophs Prochlococcus in eutrophic aphotic deep waters, and attributed the phenomena to internal solitary waves, revealing a vertical convey belt for carbon export. Based on the above and other related researches, Dr. Jiao proposed a new concept on carbon sequestration in the ocean, the Microbial Carbon Pump (MCP) which was commented by Science as “The invisible hand behind a vast carbon reservoir”, and as “research hot spot” by peers in the literature. The Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) set a Working Group on the MCP; Science published a special booklet on the MCP. Dr. Jiao initiated a new permanent forum on Ocean Biogeochemistry at the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC).

Rosa Lasaponara
The Italian National Council Research

Tentative Title: Remote Sensing for Cultural Heritage: from Documentation to Risk Estimation and Preservation

Rosa Lasaponara –Senior research at the Italian National Council Research. She holds a MsC and PhD in remote sensing . She is and has more than twenty years of experience in modeling and processing of passive (multispectral and hyperspectral) and active (Radar, Lidar) data acquired from satellite, airborne and ground remote sensing. Her research activities deals with modeling, data processing and integration for cultural heritage, Landscape and risk monitoring. She is author or co-author of 350 peer reviewed papers. She is Editor of NHESS, academic Editor of RS , guest editor for JAS, JCH, AP, JAG. IJRS, EM. PI for numerous currently ongoing projects in Europe, Africa, South America, China.

She holds several international positions including: Science officer for EGU Natural Hazard division, chair of EARSeL SIG RS for archaeology ( CREATED WITH AND supported by UNESCO, Member of Governing Board of HIST-CAS- Cat 2 UNESCO centre; Visiting professor at the Chinese Academy Of Science (RADI) – Beijing, Member of the governing Board of HIST –CAS (UNESCO cat. 2 centre) Beijing.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr. Lin Hui, Chen Shupeng Professor of Geoinformation Science of Geography and Resource Management Department, and Director of Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the Founding President of prestigious International Association for Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Science (CPGIS), Council Member of Asian Association of Remote Sensing (AARS), Member of the Scientific Committee of the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (WHIST), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Vice Chairman of China National Committee of International Society of Digital Earth.

European Commission, Joint Research Centre

A tentative title: The Global Human Settlement Layer framework and the Digital Belt And Road: a synergic perspective

Works at the European Commission, Joint Research Center (EC JRC), contributing to programs dealing with the use of space technologies for automatic image information retrieval and decision support systems in the areas of post-natural-disaster and post-conflict damage assessment, conflict-related resource monitoring, risk and exposure mapping. In 2005-2007 he was the chair or of the Global Monitoring for Security and Stability (GMOSS) Network of Excellence. From 2007 to 2013, he was the leader of the team “Information Support for Effective and Rapid External Action” (ISFEREA) of the EC JRC. From 2014 to 2016, he was initializing and leading the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL) project activities of the EC JRC, establishing new geospatial analytics technologies for assessing the human presence on the planet supporting post-2015 international frameworks. He is the chair of the “Human Planet” international initiative in the frame of the Group of Earth Observation (GEO) work program 2017-2019. He is co-chair of the "urban working group" in the Digital Belt And Road (DBAR) program.

Purdue University

Bryan C. Pijanowski is Professor and University Faculty Scholar in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University. He is also the Director of the Discovery Park Center for Global Soundscapes and the Executive Producer of the Interactive IMAX experience film Global Soundscapes: A Mission to Record the Earth. His research focusses on the use of soundscape recordings to assess the health of ecosystems around the world. To date, he has conducted over 40 studies on five continents, often in very remote places of the world. His passive acoustic recorders have been recording in 8 of Earth’s 12 major biomes for at least one year (one study is now finishing its 10th year!). Over 3 million recordings approaching 1 PB are now being analyzed at his center. Dr. Pijanowski often travels to “the ends of the Earth” to record extremely natural places and he is known for performing his “deep listening” exercises – listening and analyzing with no technology -- in unusual places and times, like the top of the rainforest canopy in Borneo over an entire night. Studies span the use of soundscapes to understand how animal communities respond to wildfire, how livestock grazing in the eastern steppes affects ecosystem health, how changes in temperature and rainfall affect amphibian declines in the jungle, how climate change impacts glacier dynamics and how ocean acidification alters marine life in the Caribbean.

University of Bremen, Germany

Dr. Gunnar Spreen received his Diplom in physics and Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 2004 and 2008, respectively. Thereafter, until July 2012, he worked as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar in the Climate, Ocean, and Solid Earth Science Section at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, USA. From August 2012 until July 2015 Gunnar Spreen was employed as permanent research scientist for sea ice remote sensing at the Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway. Since August 2015 he leads the research group "Remote Sensing of Polar Regions" at the University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics. His main research interests are remote sensing of sea ice properties with focus on monitoring changes of sea ice (extent, mass, and dynamics) and on understanding underlying climate processes in polar regions. Recent research is focused on improving estimates of the sea ice export out of the Arctic Basin combining sonar and satellite data. Conceptually, further work is based on the analysis of sea ice drift in comparison to atmospheric reanalyses, freeboard data from altimetry, and sea ice concentration using passive and active microwave remote sensing. Satellite measurements are validated using ground-based and airborne field observations. More information can be found at

Hendrik. STARK
European Space Agency

A tentative title: The Copernicus Programme and its Satellites, Europe's eyes on Earth

Dr. Hendrik R. Stark works since more than 25 years in the Earth Observation directorate of the European Space Agency (ESA). He has been involved and responsible in various Earth observation satellites projects and programmes as system engineer, system architect and project manager such as Meteosat First, Second and Third Generation, as well as Sentinel-4, which is part of the new family of Sentinel missions. Since 2013 Hendrik is heading the Copernicus Space Segment Office. Copernicus is the flagship programme of the European Union for Earth Observation; it is the world's largest Earth observation programme and is directed by the European Commission in partnership with ESA. In addition to his responsibilities at ESA, Hendrik supports actively the Earth Observation service sector thru consulting SMEs and start-ups, being incubated in the ESA Business Incubator Centre, or defining business-2-business opportunities and solutions for SMEs, which aim to benefit from the free and open data policy of Copernicus.


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