Liverpool Skylilne

Natural Sciences and Psychology

Russell Delahunty

Russell Delahunty



Academic Overview

After an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science back in 2003, I returned to further education here at LJMU back in 2015, and graduated from the inaugural Drone Technology & Applications Master's twelve-months later. From November 2016 onward I have been undertaking research towards a PhD within the school of natural sciences.

Current research

The use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or drones for scientific research has exploded in recent years and are an exciting new tool with which to investigate our environment. UAVs offer researchers unparalleled versatility, the potential of rapid data collection, and can provide a whole new perspective on our surroundings.

Using a drone mounted with a multispectral sensor capable of capturing NIR (near infra-red) data, I have flown over various vegetated habitats in Tanzania, collecting data that is unique to the area. As vegetation is highly reflective of NIR light, I am looking to exploit any variation in the spectral signatures that can be discerned between tree species, which could lead to classification techniques and the potential for rapid habitat assessments.

My research surrounds the following key proposals;

1) To classify tree species in the miombo woodland using multispectral data from a UAV

2) To compare tree species classification using multispectral UAV and satellite data

3) To use multispectral UAV data to identify fig trees in miombo woodland

Analysis of the data will take place in Liverpool at LJMU, and will likely be centred around ensemble classification techniques such as random forest (RF). Preliminary inspection of the data suggests that there is potential for discrimination between tree species, which may help to shape land management and conservation strategies at a larger scale.

PhD Project Title (TBC): Using multispectral UAV data for classification and assessment of subtropical forest habitats.
LJMU Scholarship Funded PhD
Start Date: 01/11/2016
Supervisors: Prof. Serge Wich; Dr. Alex Piel; Dr. Laura Edwards


2016, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, MSc Drone Technology & Applications
2003, Staffordshire University, United Kingdom, BSc Environmental Science

Academic appointments

Postgraduate Researcher (PGR), School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, 2016 - present