Richard Lucas
Professor Richard Lucas
Honorary Visiting Professor
Field of Research: 
Remote sensing, forests, biogeography, carbon, land cover
Contact details:

off campus

The primary area of Professor Lucas’ expertise is in quantifying and understanding the response of terrestrial ecosystems and environments to change, including that associated with climatic variation, through integration of remote sensing data from various sources. He has also developed methods for extracting relevant information on terrestrial ecosystems at scales ranging from individual trees to entire regions. Key achievements include the development of object-based methods to update a national classification of habitats in Wales (UK) and a generic scheme for classifying land covers at any location and at multiple scales based on the FAO Land Cover Classification System (LCCS); implementing approaches to quantifying the biomass and structure of forests and woodlands in eastern Australia through integration of radar, optical and ICESAT data; and quantifying mangrove response to both natural and anthropogenic change, including that associated with climatic fluctuation. His collaborative research on lidar and hyperspectral data has established innovative techniques for characterising the species composition, structure and biomass of Australian woodlands at the tree and stand level and quantifying change.

Professor Lucas’ has developed a range of techniques for retrieving information on the state and dynamnics of terrestrial vegetation and his current research is increasingly focusing on using these to better understand the impacts of human-induced and natural change on a diversity of ecosystems, including mangroves, semi-arid woodlands and tropical rainforests. His research is also establishing how time-series of optical and radar remote sensing data can be used to restore previously lost or degraded ecosystems for the benefit of biodiversity conservation and carbon preservation and sequestration.

Selected Publications

  1. Avitabile V., Herold M., Heuvelink G.B.M., Lewis S.L., Phillips O.L., Asner G.P., Armston J., Asthon P., Banin L.F., Bayol N., Berry N., Boeckx P., de Jong B., DeVries B., Girardin C., Kearsley E., Lindsell J.A., Lopez-Gonzalez G., Lucas R., Malhi Y ., Morel A., Mitchard E., Nagy L., Qie L., Quinones M., Ryan C.M., Slik F., Sunderland, T., Vaglio Laurin G., Valentini R., Verbeeck H., Wijaya A. and Willcock S. (2015).  An integrated pan-tropical biomass map using multiple reference datasets.  Global Change Biology (10.1111/gcb.13139).
  2. Mairota, P., Cafarelli, Didham, R.K., Lovergine, F.P., Lucas, R.M., Nagrendra, H., Rocchiini, D. and Tarantino, C. (2015).  Challenges and opportunities in harnessing satellite remote sensing for biodiversity monitoring.  Ecological Informatics.
  3. Lucas, R.M., Mitchell, A.L. and Armston, J. (2015).  Measurement of forest above ground biomass using active and passive remote sensing at large (subnational to global) scales.  Current Forestry Reports ((DOI 10.1007/s40725-015-0021-9).
  4. Skidmore, A., Pettorelli, N., Wegmann, M., Coops, N., Geller, G., Hansen, M., Lucas, R., O’Connor, B., Paganini, M., Pereira, H.M., Schaepman, M. and Wang, T. (2015).  Agree on biodiversity metrics to track from space.  Nature, 523, 403-405.
  5. Asbridge, E., Lucas, R.M., Accad, A. and Dowling, D. (2015).  Mangrove response to environmental changes predicted under varying climates:  Case Studies from Australia.  Current Forestry Reports, DOI 10.1007/s40725-015-0018-4.
  6. Harris, A., Charnock, R. and Lucas, R.M. (2015).  Mapping peatland floristic composition using a combined ordination and regression approach.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 162,99-111.
  7. Thomas, N., Lucas, R.M., Itoh, T., Simard, M., Fatoyinbo, L., Bunting, P. and Rosenqvist, A. (2015).  An approach to monitoring mangrove extents through time-series comparison of JERS-1 SAR and ALOS PALSAR data.  Wetlands Ecology and Management, 23, 3-17. 
  8. Mairota, P., Cafarelli, B., Labadessa,  R., Lovergine, F., Tarantino, C., Lucas, R.M., Nagrenda, H. and Didham, R.K.  (2015).  Very high resolution earth observation features for monitoring plant and animal community structure across multiple spatial scales in protected areas.  International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation.  37, 100-105.
  9. Mücher, C.A., Roupioz, L., Kramer, H., Bogers, M.M.B., Jongman, R.H.G., Lucas, R.M., Kosmidou, V.E., Petrou, Z, Manakos, P.Z., Padoa-Schioppa, E., Adamo, M. and Blonda, P. (2015).  Synergy of Airborne LiDAR and Worldview-2 satellite imagery for land cover and habitat mapping: a BIOSOS-EODHAM, 37, 48-55.
  10. Harini, N., Mairota, P., Tarantino, C., Blonda, P. and Lucas, R.M.,  (2015).  Satellite remote sensing to monitoring anthropogenic pressure in protected areas. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 37, 124-132.
  1. Vaz, A.S., Marcos, B., Gonçalves, J., Monteiro, M., Alves, Emilio Civantos, E., Lucas, R., Mairota, P., Garcia-Robles, J., Alonso, J., Blonda, P. Lomba, A. and Honrado, J.P. (2014).  Can we predict habitat quality from space?  A multi-indicator assessment based on a semi-automated rule-based system.   International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 37, 106-113.
  2. Lucas, R.M., Blonda, P., Bunting, P., Jones, G., Inglada, J., Aria, M., Kosmidou, V., Petrou, Z.I., Manakos, I., Adamo, M., Charnock, R., Tarantino, C., Mücher, C.A., Jongman, R., Kramer, H., 21Arvor, D., Honrado, J.P. and Mairota, P. (2014).  The Earth Observation Data for Habitat Monitoring (EODHAM) System.  International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 37, 17-28.
  3. Schmidt, M., Lucas, R.M., Bunting, P., Verbesselt, J. and Armston, J. (2014).  Multi-resolution time-series imagery for forest disturbance and regrowth monitoring in Queensland, Australia.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 158, 156-168.
  4. Carreiras, J.M.B., Jones, J., Lucas, R.M. and Gabriel, C. (2014).  Land use and land cover change dynamics across the Brazilian Amazon: insights from extensive time-series of remote sensing data.  PLOSone, 9(8), e104144.
  5. Shimada, M., Itoh, T., Motooka, T., Watanabe, M. Shiraishi, T., Thapa, R. and Lucas, R.M. (2014).  New global forest/non-forest from ALOS PALSAR data (2007-2010).  Remote Sensing of Environment, 155, 13-31.
  6. Clewley, D., Bunting, B., Shepherd, J., Gillingham, S., Flood, N., Dymond, J., Lucas, R., Armston, J. and Moghaddam, M. (2014).  A python-based open source system for geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) utilising raster attribute tables.   Remote Sensing, 6.
  7. Adamo, M., Tarantino, C., Tomaselli, T., Kosmidou, V., Petrou, Z., Manakos, I., Lucas, R.M., Mücher, S., Veronico, G., Marangi, C., De Pasquale, V. and Blonda, P. (2014).  Expert knowledge for translating land cover/use maps to General Habitat Categories.  Landscape Ecology, 29, 1045-1067.
  8. Lucas, R.M., Rebelo, L, Fatoyinbo, L., Rosenqvist, A., Itoh, T., Shimada, M., Simard, M., Souza-Filho, P.W., Thomas, N., Trettin, C., Accad, A., Carreiras, J. and Hilarides, L. (2014).   Contribution of L-band SAR to Systematic Global Mangrove Monitoring.  Freshwater and Marine Science, 65, 589-603 (citations 1).
  9. Lucas, R.M., Clewley, D., Accad, A., Butler, D., Armston, J., Bowen, M., Bunting, P., Carreiras, J., Dwyer, J., Eyre, T., Kelly, A., McAlpine, C., Pollock, S. and Seabrook, L. (2014).   Mapping forest growth and degradation stage in the Brigalow Belt Bioregion of Australia through integration of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat-derived Foliage Projective Cover (FPC) data.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 155, 42-57.
  1. Kosmidou, V., Petrou, Z., Bunce, R.G., Mucher, C., Jongman, R.H., Bogers, M.M., Lucas, R.M., Tomaselli, V., Blonda, P., Pado-Schioppa, E., Manakos, I. and Petrou, M. (2013).  Harmonization of the Land Cover Classification System (LCCS) with the General Habitat Categories (GHC) classification system.  Ecological Indicators, 36, 290-300.
  2. Tomaselli, V., Dimopoulos, P., Marangi, C., Kallimanis, A.S., Adamo, M., Tarantino, C., Panitsa, M., Terzi, M., Veronico, G., Lovergine, F., Nagrenda, H., Lucas, R., Mairota, P., Mucher, A.A. and Blonda, P. (2013). Translating land cover/land use classifications to habitat taxomomies for landscape monitoring:  a Mediterranean assessment.  Landscape Ecology, 28, 905-930.
  3. Ewers, R.M., Didham, R.K., Pearse, W.D., Lefebvre, V., Rosa, I.M.D., Carreiras, J.M.B., Lucas, R.M. and Reuman, D.C. (2013). Using landscape history to predict biodiversity patterns in fragmented landscapes.  Ecology Letters, 16(10), 1221-1233.
  4. Bunting, P., Clewley, D., Lucas, R.M. and Gillingham, S. (2013).  The Remote Sensing and GIS Software Library (RSGISLib).  Computers and Geosciences, 62, 2-6-226.
  5. Armston, J., Disney, M., Lewis, P., Scarth, P., Bunting, P., Lucas, R., Phinn, S. and Goodwin, N. (2013).  Direct retrieval of canopy gap probability from airborne waveform lidar. Remote Sensing of Environment, 134, 50-65.
  6. Bunting, P., Armston, J., Lucas, R.M. and Clewley, D. (2013).  Sorted Pulse Data (SPD) Library.  Part I:  A generic file format for LiDAR data from pulse laser systems in terrestrial environments.  Computing and Geosciences, 56, 197-206.
  7. Bunting, P., Armston, J., Clewley, D. and Lucas, R.M. (2013).  Sorted Pulse Data (SPD) Library.  Part II:  A processing framework for LiDAR data from pulse laser systems in terrestrial environments. Computing and Geosciences, 56, 207-215.
  8. Dickinson, C., Siqueira, P., Clewley, D. and Lucas, R.M. (2013).  Classification of forest composition using polarimetric decomposition in multiple landscapes.  Remote Sensing of Environment, 131, 206-214.
  9. Rocha Nascimento, W., Souza-Filho, P.W., Proisy, C., Lucas, R.M. and Rosenqvist, A. (2013).  Mapping changes in the largest continuous Amazon mangrove belt using object-based classification of multi-sensor satellite imagery.  Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 117, 83-93.
  1. Nagrenda, H., Lucas, R.M., Honrado, J.P., Jongman, R.H.G., Tarantino, C., Adamo, M. and Mairota, P.  (2012).  Remote sensing for conservation monitoring:  assessing protected areas, habitat extent, habitat condition, species diversity and threats.  Ecological Indicators, 33, 45-59.
  2. Clewley, D., Lucas, R.M., Accad, A., Armston, J., Bowen, M., Dwyer, J., et al. (2012).  An approach to mapping forest growth stages in Queensland, Australia, through integration of ALOS PALSAR and Landsat sensor data. Remote Sensing, 4(8), 2236-2255.
  3. Carreiras, J.M.B., Vasconcelos, M.J., Lucas, R.M. (2012).  Understanding the relationship between above ground biomass and ALOS PALSAR data in the forests of Guinea-Bissau (West Africa), Remote Sensing of Environment, 121, 626-442.
  1. Burgin, M., Clewley, D., Lucas, R.M. and Moghaddam, M. (2011).  Multi-layered multiple-species forests scattering model based on a wave theory approach.  IEEE Transactions Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49(12), 4832-4845.
  2. De Grandi, G., Bouvet, A., Lucas, R., Shimada, M., Monaco, S. and Rosenqvist, A. (2011).  The K&C PALSAR mosaic of the African Continent:  Processing Issues and First Thematic Results. IEEE Transactions Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 49(10), 3593-3610.
  3. Lucas, RM, Medcalf, K, Brown, A, Bunting, P, Breyer, J, Clewley, D, Keyworth, S and Blackmore, P (2011) Updating the Phase 1 habitat map of Wales, UK, using satellite sensor data, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 66, 81–102.