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MSc (École Centrale De Lyon) PhD (Otago)

Tel +64 3 479 7698
Office: Surveying building, first floor, Room 115


Associate Professor

I teach and conduct research in areas of remote sensing, photogrammetry, and spatial analysis. In graduated with a diploma of multidisciplinary engineering majoring in mechanical engineering and structure dynamics from the École Centrale de Lyon in France. I started my career as a research engineer with a manufacturer of aircraft engines, then as a chief project manager for a famous watch manufacturer in Switzerland. I discovered geospatial sciences, and in particular remote sensing and photogrammetry during a one-year experience in New Zealand and decided to complete a PhD at the School of Surveying. I joined the School's academic team in 2008.


Research interests

My research interests are in remote sensing, photogrammetry, and geospatial analytics, with an emphasis on the development of methods and techniques to map complex topography and characterise our dynamic landscape. My primary focus has been on detecting and understanding changes affecting mountains, glaciers, and snow. I have expertise in and develop a range of photogrammetric and image processing tools to monitor the variability of seasonal snow, map glacier surface albedo from satellites, characterise glacier mass balance and landslides. I am also applying my geospatial expertise to support research on geophysics, vegetation dynamics and zoology.

Research Themes (Disciplines)


Some current projects

Some completed projects

Postgraduate supervision

Current postgraduate supervision

  • Aubrey Miller, PhD, “Snow avalanche hazards in Aotearoa New Zealand: Using extreme events from the past to plan for the future.” (primary supervisor)
  • Katie Jones, PhD (VUW), “Modelling the regional-scale geomorphic sediment cascade following a large earthquake.” (supervisor)
  • Ellorine Carle, MSc, “3D change detection of alpine erosion and riverbed processes in the Cook River.”
  • Clare Lewis, MSc, “Spatio-temporal distribution of landslides in the Aoraki/Mt Cook region.” (primary supervisor)

Completed postgraduate supervision

  • Todd Redpath (2020), PhD, “A multi-scale approach to assess the four-dimensional (4D) distribution of snow water equivalent (SWE) in complex terrain in New Zealand.” (primary supervisor)
  • Xiaobin Hua (2020), PhD, “Changing functional landscapes: Phenological and compositional shifts in New Zealand's natural and production ecosystems.” (supervisor)
  • Ernesto Dos Santos (2020), MAppSc, “3D Change Detection: A Case Study of Maitland's Stream.” (primary supervisor)
  • Craig MacDonell (2020), MSc, “An eye on coastal change: Characterising spatio-temporal coastal sensitivity at high-resolution - Okia Reserve, Otago Peninsula, New Zealand.” (primary supervisor)
  • Lucy Just (2019), MSc, “Snow distribution and melt of a seasonal snowpack, Central Otago, New Zealand.” (supervisor)
  • Sam West (2019), MSc, “High resolution remote sensing techniques to assess tall tussock grassland distribution and density.” (supervisor)
  • Angus Dowson (2018), MSc, “Glacier surface albedo from MODIS data and links to annual mass balance for the Gardens of Eden and Allah, New Zealand.” (primary supervisor)
  • Kerryn Little (2018), MSc, “Climate controls on the mass balance of Brewster Glacier, Southern Alps.” (supervisor)
  • Chris Page (2017), MSurv, “The role of control network in the accuracy of underground laser scanning surveys.” (primary supervisor)
  • Julia Moloney (2017), MSc, “Quantifying morphologic changes of a coastal foredune using a low-cost remotely piloted aerial system (RPAS).” (supervisor)
  • Kambiz Borma (2017), PhD, “Geographic Vector Agents from Pixels to Intelligent Processing Units.” (supervisor)
  • Cliff Patterson (2016), PhD, “Deforestation, agricultural intensification, and farm resilience in Northern Belize: 1980-2010.” (supervisor)
  • Mike McConachie (2016), MAppSc, “Random forest learning-based classification of ultra-high resolution imagery of coastal dunes at Mason Bay, Stewart Island.” (primary supervisor)
  • Alec Geddes (2015), MSc, “An investigation of dynamic surface elevation and volume changes of Tasman Glacier using multi-temporal ASTER derived digital elevation models.” (primary supervisor)
  • Amanda Goh (2014), BScHons, “Using MODIS satellite images to characterize snow and cloud cover over Kilimanjaro.” (supervisor)
  • Rosie Wood (2013), PGDipSc, “Modeling Ice Retreat on Kilimanjaro Using GIS.” (primary supervisor)
  • Sebastian Vivero (2013), MSc, “Recent Ice Wastage on the Tasman Glacier, Southern Alps, New Zealand, Obtained from Geodetic Elevation Changes.” (primary supervisor)
  • Todd Redpath (2011), MSc, “Utilising optical satellite imagery to derive multi-temporal flow-fields for the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand.” (supervisor)
  • Joshua Columbus (2011), BSurv Hons, “An assessment of fractal interpolation for deriving Digital Elevation Models.” (primary supervisor)
  • Neil Bates (2011), BSurv Hons, “A  quantitative comparison of terrestrial laser scanning and the Areoscan  photogrammetry system.” (primary supervisor)
  • Abraham Growcott (2010), MSc, “Measuring Sperm whales via Acoustics and Photogrammetry.” (supervisor)
  • Delia Strong (2008), MSc, “Patterns and processes of ice loss at Tasman Glacier: an evaluation using historic data sources and remotely sensed imagery.” (supervisor)

Professional activities

Awards and achievements

  • Excellence Award in Health and Safety, University of Otago, 2018
  • Charles Fleming Senior Scientist Award, Royal Society of New Zealand, 2017
  • INVITES2015-2016 visiting scholarship, University Grenoble Alpes and Grenoble Institute of Technology, 2015
  • Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA), Finalist “Education & Professional Development”, 2015
  • New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA), Winner “Education & Professional Development”, 2014
  • Young Mountain Cartographer Award, International Cartographic Association, 2014
  • Exceptional Thesis Award, University of Otago, 2010
  • IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society Travel Grant, 2009
  • Charles Fleming Fund Travel Award, Royal Society of New Zealand, 2009
  • New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Award, Education New Zealand (NZPSAA), 2007
  • Best postgraduate presentation, Otago Energy Research Centre, 2007



Cox, S. C., Sirguey, P., Lewis, C. N., Carle, E., & Miller, A. D. (2023). Acceleration of landscape change in the Southern Alps during the past decade. In G. E. Frontin-Rollett & S. D. Nodder (Eds.), Geoscience Society of New Zealand Miscellaneous Publication. 164A, (pp. 54). Wellington, New Zealand: Geoscience Society of New Zealand. [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Miller, A., Jones, A., Smallwood, M., Bogie, D., Sirguey, P., Redpath, T., & Bartelt, P. (2023). Performance of the Kitchener path protection berm during the historic July 2022 avalanche cycle, Southern Alps, New Zealand. Proceedings of the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW). (pp. 846-853). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Full paper

Sirguey, P., Cox, S., Redpath, T., Miller, A., & Carle, E. (2023, August-September). The Matariki project: Surveying and mapping landscape change with reality capture technologies. Verbal presentation at the Survey & Spatial New Zealand (S+SNZ) Annual Conference: Marking the Journey, Hāpaia, Dunedin, New Zealand. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Carle, E., Sirguey, P., & Cox, S. C. (2023). Measuring landslide-driven ground displacements with high-resolution surface models and optical flow. Computers & Geosciences, 178, 105378. doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2023.105378 Journal - Research Article

Miller, A. D., Redpath, T. A. N., Sirguey, P., Cox, S. C., Bartelt, P., Bogie, D., Conway, J. P., Cullen, N. J., & Bühler, Y. (2023). Unprecedented winter rainfall initiates large snow avalanche and mass movement cycle in New Zealand's Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana. Geophysical Research Letters, 50, e2022GL102105. doi: 10.1029/2022GL102105 Journal - Research Article

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