PhD position in Urban Remote Sensing

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
October 21 2016
Position Type
Full Time
Project description

REACT is a 4-year interdisciplinary project that involves the use of a wide suite of remotely sensed variables at different spatial and temporal resolutions, as well as different modelling approaches (urban climate, environmental change, demographic and socioeconomic patterns, epidemiology) with two main goals:

1/ Improving our knowledge of intra-urban malaria risk in Africa thanks to a better understanding of the various factors responsible for the focal malaria transmission in urban settings. There is a definite need to expand research into the unique epidemiology of malaria transmission in urban areas for focal elimination and sustained control agendas at the city-level.

2/ Improving our knowledge of inter-urban malaria risk in Africa. The risk of malaria transmission varies considerably between cities, as African cities are very heterogeneous in terms of size, population density, rate of urban growth, environmental changes occurring in the peri-urban areas, etc. The project aims to improve the predictability of malaria risk by better understanding factors responsible for these variations.

Research description

In REACT, ANAGEO will focus mainly on intra-urban (and to a lesser extent inter-urban) socioeconomic variability. This PhD study will aim at understanding the determinants of spatial patterns of socioeconomic inequalities in sub-Saharan African cities, and the relationship with vulnerability to malaria. The datasets that will be used are mainly existing survey data (and also possibly census data) and VHR and HR remote sensing data (e.g., Pleiades, WorldView-3, Sentinel-2). Methods will be developed to derive a set of remote sensing covariates at both scales to be used as input to the models.


We are looking for a highly motivated and enthusiastic candidate, interested in issues related to socioeconomic and health studies, urban development and sub-Saharan Africa.

Applicants should have completed a master's degree in Geography, Geospatial Science, Bioengineering or a related discipline, and be skilled in remote sensing and geospatial analysis.

Coding skills in Python and R is a strong asset.

Additional expertise in the following fields is highly valuable: Object-Based Image Analysis, VHR remote sensing data processing, spatial modelling, geo-statistical methods, data handling with PostgreSQL/PostGIS.

A very good command of French and English, both spoken and written, is required.

Conditions of employment

Estimated net salary/month: 1850 EUR.

4-year full time PhD, presumably starting on the 1st of January 2017.


Applications must be sent by email to Prof. Eléonore Wolff (, subject: “REACT application”). Pl

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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