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Dr. Pascal Sirguey


MSc (École Centrale De Lyon) PhD (Otago)

Phone: +64 (0)3 479 7698
Room: Surveying building, 1st floor, Room 115


I teach and conduct research in areas of Remote Sensing, Photogrammetry, and Spatial Analysis. In 2001 I obtained 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. I then became a chief project manager for a famous watch manufacturer in Switzerland. In 2005, following a unique one-year experience in New Zealand, where as a research assistant, I discovered the science of remote sensing, I decided to reconsider my career and completed a PhD with the School of Surveying. I joined the School's academic team in early 2008.


Research Interests

Research Themes (Disciplines)


Some current projects

Some completed projects


Current Research Students

  • Todd Redpath (2015-), 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)
  • Angus Dawson (2016-), MSc, “Detecting impurities signal on glacier surface with MODIS.”  (supervisor)
  • Kerryn Little (2016-), MSc, "Linkage between glacier retreat and climate change." (supervisor)
  • Chris Page (2016-), MSurv, “Registration and Georeferencing of Terrestrial Laser Scanning.” (primary supervisor)
  • Mike McConachie (2015-), MAppSc, “Random forest learning-based classification of ultra-high resolution imagery of coastal dunes at Mason Bay, Stewart Island.” (primary supervisor)
  • Holly Still (2013-), MSc, “Remote sensing of albedo on Brewster Glacier with MODIS data.” (primary supervisor)

Recent Research Students

  • Kambiz Borma (submitted), PhD, “Geographic Vector Agents from Pixels to Intelligent Processing Units.” (supervisor)
  • Alec Geddes (2015), MSc, “Characterisation of the dynamic of Tasman Glacier surface elevation change from repeated ASTER DEMs.” (primary supervisor)
  • Cliff Patterson (submitted), PhD, “Agricultural intensification and soil quality change in the New River Lagoon Watershed, Belize.” (supervisor)
  • Amanda Goh (2014), BSc Hnr, “An Assessment of Snow and Cloud Cover on Kilimanjaro using MODIS Satellite Imagery.” (supervisor)
  • Rosie Wood (2013), PGDipSc, “Modeling Ice Retreat on Kilimanjaro Using GIS.” (primary supervisor)
  • Sebastian Vivero (2013), MSc, “Mass balance of Tasman glacier derived from photogrammetry.” (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, “Improvement of a Digital Elevation Models (DEM) representation of terrain using fractal interpolation techniques.” (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, “Size measurement of sperm whales using photogrammetry methods.” (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)



  • Board of Studies of Applied Science (2013)
  • Board of Studies for the Ecology Major (2008-2010)


  • School of Surveying representative to the Australasian Spatial Information Education and Research Association (ASIERA)
  • School of Surveying Postgraduate and Research Committee (2011-)
  • School of Surveying Marketing Committee (2013-)
  • Chair of the Survey School Web Committee (2010-2013)
  • School of Surveying Undergraduate Committee (2009)
  • Manager of the Spatial Ecology Research Facility (SERF) (2008-2013)

Professional Activities

Awards and Achievements

  • Australia and 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
  • Geoscience & Remote Sensing Society, IGARSS Travel Grant Award, 2009
  • Royal Society of New Zealand, Charles Fleming Fund Travel Award, 2009
  • Education New Zealand - New Zealand Postgraduate Study Abroad Awards (NZPSAA), 2007


  • New Zealand Institute of Surveyors, 2014-
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2011-
  • Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS), 2009-2014
  • Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2008-2014
  • Contributing member of the Global Land Ice Measurements from Space (GLIMS), 2006-, (
  • Snow and Ice Research Group (SIRG), 2006, (
  • Member of Catchment Otago, 2015-, (
  • Member of the Polar Environment Research Theme (PE), 2010-, (


Remote Sensing of Environment (Elsevier), IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing (JSTARS), International Journal of Remote Sensing (Taylor & Francis), ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (Elsevier),Journal of Glaciology, Annals of Glaciology, Journal of Hydrology (NZ), Journal of Geodetic Science, New Zealand Geographer, Antarctic Sciences, The Cryosphere, PloS One.
IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS’08, ’09), Research@Locate (2014, 2015, 2016), GeoCart (2010, 2012, 2014), Mountain Cartography Workshop (2012), Spatial Information Research Conference (SIRC 2013), AfricaGEO 2014, Earthquake Commission, Biennial Contestable Grants Programme (2014).

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Masson, T., Dumont, M., Dalla Mura, M., Sirguey, P., Gascoine, S., Dedieu, J.-P., & Chanussot, J. (2018). An assessment of existing methodologies to retrieve snow cover fraction from MODIS data. Remote Sensing, 10(4), 619. doi: 10.3390/rs10040619

Davaze, L., Rabatel, A., Arnaud, Y., Sirguey, P., Six, D., Letreguilly, A., & Dumont, M. (2018). Monitoring glacier albedo as a proxy to derive summer and annual surface mass balances from optical remote-sensing data. Cryosphere, 12(1), 271-286. doi: 10.5194/tc-12-271-2018

Rabatel, A., Berthier, E., Arnaud, Y., Dedieu, J.-P., Dumont, M., Gascoine, S., … Sirguey, P., … Zakharova, E. (2017). Télédétection satellitaire des surfaces enneigées et englacées. La Météorologie, 97, 78-85. doi: 10.4267/2042/62170

Cullen, N. J., Anderson, B., Sirguey, P., Stumm, D., Mackintosh, A., Conway, J. P., … Fitzsimons, S. J., & Lorrey, A. (2017). An 11-year record of mass balance of Brewster Glacier, New Zealand, determined using a geostatistical approach. Journal of Glaciology, 63(238), 199-217. doi: 10.1017/jog.2016.128

Rabatel, A., Sirguey, P., Drolon, V., Maisongrande, P., Arnaud, Y., Berthier, E., … Dumont, M. (2017). Annual and seasonal glacier-wide surface mass balance quantified from changes in glacier surface state: A review on existing methods using optical satellite imagery. Remote Sensing, 9(5), 507. doi: 10.3390/rs9050507

More publications...