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Dr Patrice Carbonneau

Associate Professor

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography+44 (0) 191 33 41984


I began my university studies with bachelors degrees in both physics (Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada) and engineering (Université Laval, Québec, Canada). These degrees gave me the technical skills and the mathematical background that have done much to shape my contributions to physical geography. I eventually came to fluvial geomorphology through the study of turbulence and sediment transport during my master’s degree (INRS-ETE, Québec, Canada). The study of a complex problem such as turbulence prompted an interest in complex phenomena in rivers and thus I undertook a Ph.D. (INRS-ETE, Québec, Canada) on the intergranular voidspaces that constitute the habitat of juvenile atlantic salmon. In addition to gaining an understanding of salmonid habitat, the requirements of my Ph.D. brought me to develop an expertise in the field of remote sensing applied to fluvial environments. Namely, during a Ph.D. internship as a visiting scholar in Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, I developed skills in digital photogrammetry which were completed with a second internship at the School of geography of the University of Leeds. My post-doctoral work, carried out jointly at the INRS-ETE in Quebec, the School of Geography at the University of Leeds and the department of geography of Durham university, built on my knowledge of remote sensing and salmonid habitat to develop pioneering methods for the catchment-scale characterization of salmonid habitat with high resolution airborne remote sensing methods.

This interest in high resolution imagery has led me to research topographic mapping from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV or drones) and since 2008 I have conducted sucessfull UAV field campaigns in the UK, the Swiss Alps, the Atacama Desert and Svalbard. Further, recent work has built upon knowledge of fluvial remote sensing, drone imagery and ecology and moved to a larger scale problem: the health and condition of the Ganges. My objectve over the next decade is to make a data-driven contribution to restoration and rehabilitation efforts in this, the most heavily populated river basin on Earth.

Research interests

  • Digital Image Processing
  • Digital Photogrammetry
  • Fluvial Geomorphology and Ecology
  • Fluvial Remote Sensing
  • UAV/drone topography generation and mapping


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