Richard Armitage


  • Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, SRUC, Ferguson Building

    AB21 9YA Aberdeen

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students


Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

  • Application of GIS and Remote Sensing to the mapping and monitoring of semi natural, rural and urban landscapes, and characterising their composition and structure.
  • Linking environmental and demographic information to produce environmentally enhanced neighbourhood characterisations/classifications for urban areas.
  • Mapping access to urban green space and food growing.


Richard joined SRUC in 2022 as Head of the Department of Rural Land Use, based in Aberdeen and Cupar.  His interests are in the application of Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing (Earth Observation) to the identification of spatial characteristics and variability in the physical environment.  He has worked on projects looking at characterising semi nature environments, including fire risk, as well as the identification and quantification of greenspaces in urban environments.
Richard holds Fellowships of the Royal Geographical Society and the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  He is a Past Chair (2016-2020) of the UK Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society (RSPSoc), and in that role was jointly responsible for the UK's first National Earth Observation Conference (Birmingham 2018), which attracted nearly 500 delegates.  Richard has also sat on the Earth Observation Advisory Committee to the UK Space Agency, and the Skills Forum of the UK Government’s Geospatial Committee.
Richard is an experienced research supervisor, with over 20 research degree completions to date.  He is active in supporting the academic community, and has held six appointments as a Taught Programme External Examiner, and a further 10 as a Research Degree External to date.


Richard has taught Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing across all Higher Education levels.  He has also had extensive experience of programme leadership (15 years) at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and the development and revalidation of taught programmes.  Richard has particular pedagogic interests in embedding industrial experience in the curriculum, and the use of alternatives to the "traditional" dissertation.

Previous employer

University of Salford, UK.  2003-2022

Kingston Univeristy, UK. 1997-2003


  • PhD Student (Part Time), 2023, University of Salford, The uneven distribution of urban household garden use and their benefits to people. Co-supervisor.
  • PhD Student (Part-time), 2023, University of Salford, Policy, regulatory and commercial considerations for the implementation of a sustainable Mobility and a Service System. (Co-supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2021, University of Salford. Optimising risk-based surveillance for early plant disease detection: an epidemiological approach. Jointly funded as an iCase studentship with Department for Environment and Rural Affairs. (Co-supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2020, University of Salford,  A wetland vulnerability assessment: consequences for the avian communities of saltmarshes. Jointly funded as an iCase studentship with Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust. (Co-Supervisor).
  • MSc by Research Student, University of Salford, A comparison of air pollution in relation to differing socio-economic status. (Joint Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2019, University of Salford,  Role of remote sensing in wildland fire risk assessment. (Joint-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2019, University of Salford, Terrestrial Laser Scanner technology for mapping and monitoring forest environments. (Joint-Supervisor).
  • MSc by Research Student, 2018, Univeristy of Salford. The mobilisation of contaminants originating from historic mining activities and their influence on calcicolous vegetation in the Peak District.  (Joint Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2018, University of Salford. Investigating the impact and potential of Urban Agriculture. Funded by a University of Salford Graduate Teaching Studentship and Real Food Wythenshawe.  (Joint-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2017, University of Salford. Impacts of changing climates on biodiversity in the Green Mountains of Libya.  (Joint Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2015, University of Salford, Evaluation of the urban environment using GIS and remote sensing. Funded by the University of Salford. (Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2015, Univeristy of Salford. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services associated with urban trees within the City of Salford. (Co-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student., 2015, University of Salford. Contexts of community-led innovations in an urban social-ecological system. (Co-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2012, University of Salford. Population dynamics and ecological distribution of large mammals in Ngorongoro crater, Tanzania. Funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. (Co-Supervisor).
  • PhD student, 2011, University of Salford. Terrestrial Laser Scanning measurements to characterise temporal changes in forest canopies. (Supervisor).
  • PhD student, 2011, University of Salford. Using remote sensing to study temporal changes in vegetation moisture content for fire risk assessment. Funded by the Syrian Government. (Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2010, Univeristy of Salford. Ecosystem health and social inclusion: the case of urban green spaces. Funded by a joint Economic and Social Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council studentship. (Joint-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2009, Univeristy of Salford. Landscape scale conservation in urban environments. Studentship funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. (Joint Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2009, Kingston University, A GIS-based approach to reconstructing mid-20th century agricultural land use around Lewes, East Sussex. (External Co-supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2009, University of Salford. Evaluating medium resolution satellite data for monitoring seasonal vegetation dynamics. Funded by the Nigerian government. (Joint-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2009, University of Salford. Spatial modelling of small mammal distributions in relation to parasite transmission in western China. Research funded by National Institute of Health (USA).  (Joint-Supervisor).
  • PhD Student, 2007, University of Salord. A regional environmental infrastructure management system for the Gaza strip. (Co-Supervisor).

Education/Academic qualification

PGCert , Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Salford

Award Date: 18 Jul 2006

PhD, Biogeography and Remote Sensing, University of Plymouth

Award Date: 31 Mar 1999

Master, Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 30 Sept 1993

Master, Geographical Information Systems, School of Geography, University of Leeds

Award Date: 1 Oct 1992

Bachelor, Educational Studies and Geography, Canterbury Christ Church University

Award Date: 31 Jul 1991


  • GE Environmental Sciences
  • GA Mathematical geography. Cartography
  • Remote Sensing and GIS


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