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Dr Belen Marti-Cardona specialises in hydrological and hydraulic modelling, and in the exploitation of Earth observation data for hydrological and environmental engineering applications. Her experience in Earth observation includes the use of SAR, thermal and optical imagery from space, aircraft and UAV platforms.

Dr Marti-Cardona graduated in MEng civil engineering from the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech (UPC) in 1997. Her early career experience was in the construction of water-related infrastructure, followed by their design in the prestigious engineering company SENER, Spain. She then moved to the engineering firm, Jacobs in Reading, UK, where she worked on the numerical simulation of flood events and flood mapping, for projects commissioned by the Environment Agency. This experience provided her with priceless expertise in the state-of-the art hydrodynamic numerical modelling and digital mapping techniques. She also became a chartered engineer by the ICE at that time.

Funded by the prestigious La Caixa fellowship, Dr Marti-Cardona completed a two-year MSc at the University of California, Davis, USA (2004). There, she had the privilege to learn from and work as a research assistant with world-leading scientists in the fields of hydrology and remote sensing.

Back in Barcelona Dr Marti-Cardona joined the UPC, Institut Flumen-CIMNE, as a research and teaching assistant. Her involvement in an exciting project at the wildlife sanctuary of the Doñana wetlands gave her the unique opportunity to sample the site on countless (and sometimes wild) occasions, and to compare the sampled biophysical parameters with satellite SAR data and hydraulic modelling simulations. That work provided her with deep understanding of the SAR-soil-water-vegetation interaction, and made up her PhD too! Her participation in other Flumen-CIMNE projects allowed her to exploit thermal and optical satellite and drone data, with a couple of nice competitive projects won and successfully completed in the way.

Life matters brought Dr Marti-Cardona to the UK, where she is currently a Lecturer in Water Resources Modelling and Remote Sensing. Soon after her arrival, she developed and promoted the launch of a module on GIS and Remote Sensing which is currently being taught. She also teaches hydrology and hydraulics at different levels, and feels proud to have infected her enthusiasm for those disciplines to some of the students. She is also pleased with her holistic background as an engineer, which places her in an advantaged position to develop novel applications of remote sensing data.  In addition to her permanent academic role, in the last few years she has worked as a data scientist for companies on the analysis and integration of Earth observation data into their commercial products.

Research Interests

Involve innovative applications of remote sensing data to water resources problems, including  sustainable use, impact of soil moisture on rainfall-runoff transformations, drought mapping and monitoring, evaluation of evapotranspiration water losses per land cover type, assessment of climatic and anthropogenic spatiotemporal impacts, and large scale near-real time crop and soil moisture mapping at the field scale (“field scale” being crucial), implementing artificial intelligent analysis into these applications.