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Professor Danny Donoghue


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor in the Department of GeographyS204+44 (0) 191 33 41867
Professor , Catchments and RiversS204+44 (0) 191 33 41867
Professor , Hazards and Surface ChangeS204+44 (0) 191 33 41867


Professor Donoghue has a broadly based research profile that covers applications of remote sensing technology in the fields of spectrometry, forestry, coastal ecology, land use change and archaeology. He has developed processing methods for high spectral resolution optical imaging including a commercial image-processing package (T-Spectra). Recent projects include studies on the use of artificial neural networks for image processing, the study of airborne thermal infrared imagery for geology and archaeology, the use of declassified space photography (e.g. CORONA) and high spatial resolution imagery for archaeological prospection (e.g. IKONOS). Woodland Structure, Habitats assessment & Land cover change Research Associates Robert Dunford and Pete Watt are currently working on methods to quantify woodland structure and volume in upland conifer forests in the UK. Recent work includes a British National Space Centre Customer Partnership Project to study woodland establishment, and, a EU LIFE-ENVIRONMENT project to study rapid stock assessment using satellite image data. Khondaker Huda, Tawhidul Islam and Shahed Rashid hold Commonwealth Commission Scholarships and are using remote sensing to study different aspects of land cover and resource change in Bangladesh. Huda is investigating changes in the distribution and function of small water bodies, Islam is studying changes to sal forest resources and Rashid is looking a land transformation for 1951-2001. Our research group have undertaken contracts research for Durham County Council, English Nature, the Environment Agency and the EU. NERC has supported our work by supplying airborne remotely sensed images. Dr Donoghue was a member of NERC's Airborne Science Steering Committee (1995-1998). Archaeological Remote Sensing Anthony Beck holds a NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) studentship to evaluate satellite data for archaeological landscape assessment. Nikolaos Galiatsatos holds a HSSF (Hellenic State Scholarships Foundation) scholarship to study the use of declassified space photography (e.g. CORONA) and high spatial resolution imagery for archaeological prospection (e.g. IKONOS). Kay McManus holds a University Scholarship and is investigating methods for processing airborne thermal infrared imagery for geology and archaeology applications, this work is in part supported by Dr Stuart Marsh from the British Geological Survey. Dr Donoghue was a member of editorial board of Archaeological Prospection (1999-2002). He helped to found the Archaeological Special Interest Group of Remote Sensing Society and was invited to join Aerial photography & Remote Sensing Committee of the Archaeological Data Service (1996). Catchment Sensitivity Modelling Penny Widdison holds a NERC-ESRC research studentship to study the impacts of land use and policy on freshwater quality in the Leet and Lamden burn sub-basins of the River Tweed. Stephen Opoku Duah holds a Ghana Scholarship to study land cover change and its impact on the Volta river basin in Ghana. Katherine Arrell holds a University Scholarship to study the evolution of cirque glaciers, this work is primarily supervised by Dr Ian Evans. Dr Donoghue helped to found the Scottish Fisheries Co-ordination Centre and is a member of the management committee with responsibility for information technology. The Centre is a partnership among the Scottish Executive, Independent fisheries trusts, Scottish and Southern Energy and The University of Durham. Members of the group have developed computer systems for catchment area analysis and management. Examples of Recent Externally Funded Research Projects 2001 European Commission, LIFE-Environment Fund, 249,000 Euro. British National Space Centre, Customer Partnership Project �44,000. Environment Agency, �2,500, Sediment and GIS analysis of Seal Sands, Teesside.

Research interests

  • airborne and satellite remote sensing
  • applications of remote sensing for archaeology, forestry and coastal change
  • geographical information systems for environmental modelling
  • computer aided learning techniques

Research Projects

  • British National Space Centre (BNSC) Customer Partner Project
  • ForestSAFE
  • Fragile Crescent, The: Settlement Change during the Urban Transition
  • Settlement and Landscape Development in the Homs Region, Syria
  • Teesmouth Sediment, Enteromorpha and Water Flux Study
  • The Fragile Crescent Project (Middle East): Settlement Change during the Urban Transition

Awarded Grants

  • 2012: KTP - Network Mapping Ltd(£187568.00 from TSB)
  • 2010: Advanced Microslice Technologies for Remote Sensing(£13106.55 from )
  • 2010: Immediate geomorphological impact and fluvial system response to the Cumbria floods November 2009(£31401.13 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2008: THE FRAGILE CRESCENT(£97730.26 from Arts and Humanities Research Council)
  • 2007: EVALUATION OF LiDAR GENERATED DATA(£11292.21 from New Zealand Ministry for the Environment)
  • 2007: FOREST CHANGE PROJECT - WIDER AREA(£9049.00 from Forestry Commission)
  • 2007: SOQOTRA, YEMEN, DRAGON BLOOD TREES(£7199.67 from British Council Yemen)
  • 2006: EVALUATING THE USE OF VERY HIGH RESOLUTION(£6000.00 from Northumbrian Water Ltd)
  • 2006: Evaluation of optical satellite imagery for forest(£15098.74 from Forestry Commission)
  • 2006: GEOGRAPHY INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR NTS(£5000.00 from National Trust for Scotland)
  • 2006: THE ENVIRONMENTAL REMOTE SENSING(£3000.00 from Forestry Commission)
  • 2005: Landslide assesment and flood erosion risk from th(£25096.14 from NERC - Natural Environment Research Council)
  • 2003: INVESTIGATION INTO THE SEDIMENT BUDGET(£70640.00 from Environment Agency)
  • 2001: DEMONSTRATION OF USE OF SATELLITE IMAGES(£155000.00 from European Commission)
  • 2001: FOREST STOCK ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT(£44000.00 from British National Space Centre)
  • 1999: THERMAL URBAN GEOSCIENCE SURVEYING:(£6500.00 from British Geological Survey)
  • 1998: HABITAT MONITORING SYSTEM(£24800.00 from British National Space Centre)
  • 1997: HABITAT MONITORING UNIT(£20412.00 from Scottish Hydro-Electric plc)


Chapter in book

  • Beck, A., Philip, G., Donoghue, D. & Galiatsatos, N. (2005). Using De-Classified Satellite Imagery. In In Volo Nel Passato Aerofotografia e Cartografia Archaeologica. Musson, C., Palmer, R. & Campana, S. All'Insegna del Giglio s.a.s. 295-300.
  • Donoghue, D. N. M., Galiatsatos, N., Philip, G. & Beck, A. (2001). Satellite imagery for archaeological applications: a case study from hte Orontes Valley, Syria. In Nato Science Series. Bewley, R. 337: 211-223.
  • Donoghue, D. (2001). Remote sensing. In Handbook of Archaeological Sciences. Brothwell, D. R. & Pollard, A. M. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. 551-560.

Conference Paper

Journal Article

Supervision students