AGSE 20220 Speaker Biographies

Dr. Larissa Mies Bombardi, Department of Geography of the University of São Paulo (USP

Dr. Larissa Mies Bombardi ia an expert on the use of pesticides in Brazil for over 10 years. She has a master’s and a doctorate in Geography, both from USP. She works as a professor of human geography at the same university. In 2017, she published an atlas “Geography of the Use of Pesticides in Brazil and its Connections with the European Union”.

Dr Jagannath Aryal, Faculty of Engineering and IT, The University of Melbourne Australia

Jagannath Aryal received his PhD degree in Optimisation and Systems Modelling. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Infrastructure Engineering at The University of Melbourne. He leads a research group on Earth Observation and intelligent solutions to societal problems. His research focuses on optimal utilisation of Earth Observation, geo-information, and geo-statistics to develop new methods in geospatial situational awareness in disaster and emergency situations and object recognition / identification in multiple hierarchies. Objects of interest derived from sensing technology (Ground / Satellite based) are applied in modelling and mapping various systems taking sustainability and resilience into account. He has experience of different high impact educational institutions from different continents. His research collaboration on Earth Observation, geospatial engineering, and spatial analysis extend to the prominent UK/European universities (including the University of Cambridge; CNRS, France; University of Salzburg; University of Twente). He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Spatial Science (Taylor & Francis), and Remote Sensing (MDPI), and reviews the scientific journals for IEEE, Springer, and Elsevier. He leads the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Commission Committee of SSSI, Australia as a national chair.

Dr Thomas Esch, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Earth Observation Center (EOC)

Dr. Thomas Esch is ‘DLR Senior Scientist’ and leader of the team ‘Smart Cities and Spatial Development’ at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). At DLR’s Earth Observation Center (EOC), Mr. Esch develops solutions to support science and decision makers all around the world with up-to-date and precise information on built environment. With the Global Urban Footprint (GUF) initiative and its successor World Settlement Footprint (WSF), Mr. Esch and his team have set new standards in the global monitoring of urbanization from space. Mr. Esch coordinated more than 15 national and international research projects and participated in another 35. He is also actively involved in the Group on Earth Observation (GEO). Moreover, he is assistant lecturer at the Hochschule für Technik in Stuttgart, Germany. Mr. Esch’s scientific work is documented by contributions to more than 45 peer-reviewed journal publications, 25 book chapters and 200 conferences and workshops. Mr. Esch received a Diploma degree in Applied Physical Geography from the University of Trier, Germany, in 2003, and the Ph.D. degree in Physical Geography and Remote Sensing from the University of Würzburg, Germany, in 2006. Since 2008 he is with DLR’s German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD).

Dr Thuy Vu, Professor and Dean of Engineering and Science, at Curtin University Malaysia

A geospatial scientist by training and research, Professor Vu has 20 years of research and teaching experience across Eurasia. After obtaining his PhD in 2003, he worked as a research scientist at Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Research Center, Kobe, Japan before joining Chiba University as a postdoctoral researcher between 2006 and 2007. In both places, he focused on the employment of geospatial technologies in disaster mitigation and management. He then joined the GEOGrid team of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan to further expand the research onto a high-performance computing platform. After three years of teaching at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, he joined the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus in 2011. He became an Associate Professor and was appointed the Head of the Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department. In 2017, he joined Hoa Sen University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, as its Dean of Science and Engineering and Director of Center for Research Development and Support. In August 2018, he was appointed Vice-President of Hoa Sen University. Now, he is a Professor and Dean of Engineering and Science, at Curtin University Malaysia. He was conferred the title of Docent by the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden in 2014. His current research interest includes geospatial data science, disaster monitoring, and urban remote sensing. Professor Vu is an elected charter member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation and a senior member of IEEE. He is also a Fellow, a council member of the ASEAN Academy of Engineering and Technology (AAET), and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Pedro Walpole S.J., Director of Research at the Institute of Environmental Science for Social Change in the Philippines

Pedro works in sustainable environment and community land management in Southeast Asia, with mainly local communities, universities, international organisations and governments. He practices a people-focused approach to capacity building and seeks to promote more lasting partnerships through research, consultation, and policy building to support local populations and governments. He is the Global Coordinator for Ecojesuit, Research Director for the Environmental Science for Social Change, and Network Coordinator for the River Above Asia Oceania Ecclesial Network.

Pedro also directs the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center, an upland basic education program and technical training for indigenous children in northern Mindanao that has its own culture-based curriculum and promotes multi-language education and the use of the mother tongue. He continues to live with the Pulangiyēn, an upland indigenous community in Mindanao.