Dr Pete Bunting

PhD BEng


Pete Bunting is a Reader in Remote Sensing within the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences (DGES). He original joined the department in 2004 when he undertook his PhD, lectured from 2017-2011 before working for Landcare Research, NZ, returning in 2012. Prior to joining the department he undertook his undergraduate degree in Computer Science, also at Aberystwyth University.




Dr Bunting's research is concerned with the computational processing of spatial data, primarily for the mapping of land surfaces & biophysical attributes both in terms of their current state & as they change through time using remotely sensed (terrestrial, airborne & spaceborne) & ancillary GIS data, to inform policy & understand the processes of change. In particular, his research involves the development of new & automated techniques for information retrieval from image & 3D point cloud datasets.

Much of his research has been combined within a group of open source software libraries (RSGISLib - https://www.rsgislib.org & SPDLib; http://www.spdlib.org; KEALib: http://www.kealib.org; ARCSI https://arcsi.remotesensing.info). Key results include the:

  • Produced the first global automated classifications of mangrove forest extent and change from satellite imagery using a globally consistent methodology as part of the global mangrove watch (https://www.globalmangrovewatch.org).
  • Developed the SPD software library which is the first of its kind to support operational processing of the latest full waveform & multispectral LiDAR datasets.
  • Developed the RSGISLib software which is used globally by many others for the processing of remotely sensed and GIS data.

Currently work is focused on improving global mangrove mapping, extending methods to other forest types and the estimation of biomass change globally as part of the CCI Biomass project.


Research Groups


Owers, CJ, Lucas, RM, Clewley, D, Planque, C, Punalekar, S, Tissott, B, Chua, SMT, Bunting, P, Mueller, N & Metternicht, G 2021, 'Living Earth: Implementing national standardised land cover classification systems for Earth Observation in support of sustainable development', Big Earth Data. https://doi.org/10.1080/20964471.2021.1948179
Planque, C, Lucas, R, Punalekar, S, Chognard, S, Hurford, C, Owers, C, Horton, C, Guest, P, King, S, Williams, S & Bunting, P 2021, 'National crop mapping using sentinel-1 time series: A knowledge-based descriptive algorithm', Remote Sensing, vol. 13, no. 5, 846. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13050846
Irvine-Fynn, T, Edwards, A, Stevens, IT, Mitchell, A, Bunting, P, Box, J, Cameron, K, Cook, J, Naegeli, K, Rassner, SME, Ryan, J, Stibal, M, Williamson, C & Hubbard, A 2021, 'Storage and export of microbial biomass across the western Greenland Ice Sheet', Nature Communications, vol. 12, no. 1, 3960. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24040-9
Castillo-villamor, L, Hardy, A, Bunting, P, Llanos-peralta, W, Zamora, M, Rodriguez, Y & Gomez-latorre, DA 2021, 'The Earth Observation-based Anomaly Detection (EOAD) system: A simple, scalable approach to mapping in-field and farm-scale anomalies using widely available satellite imagery', International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, vol. 104, 102535. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jag.2021.102535
Worthington, TA, zu Ermgassen, PSE, Friess, DA, Krauss, KW, Lovelock, CE, Thorley, J, Tingey, R, Woodroffe, CD, Bunting, P, Cormier, N, Lagomasino, D, Lucas, R, Murray, NJ, Sutherland, WJ & Spalding, M 2020, 'A global biophysical typology of mangroves and its relevance for ecosystem structure and deforestation', Scientific Reports, vol. 10, no. 1, 14652. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71194-5
More publications on the Research Portal