Institute of Geography


Dr. Felicia O. Akinyemi is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland. Certified as a Geographic Information System Professional (GISP), expertise includes spatial analysis and remote sensing. Her research seeks to understand how changes to land systems relate to degrading processes in social-ecological systems. With satellite image time series and in situ data, she is currently assessing and monitoring how agricultural land change is undermining and/or building the resilience of agroecosystems in smallholder farming contexts. Working in the temperate humid, tropical rainforests, and dryland regions, methodological contributions include how to generate and validate remote sensing-based Land Degradation Neutrality metrics at national and landscape levels. 

Research gate

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Research Focus

  • Land use persistence and change
  • Remote sensing of land degradation
  • United Nations Land Degradation Neutrality
  • Sustainable food systems in smallholder regions
  • Drought impacts on agricultural productivity at various phenological stages


Further professional interests

  • IPBES Nature Futures Framework — Scenarios modelling
  • Climate variability and climate change impact and adaptation
  • GIS education across disciplines and in schools
  • Poverty Mapping
  • Land-use change and the resilience of food production systems (LucFRes): (2022 – 2024)  Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships 2020, European Commission

  • Agricultural land change and implications for land quality: (2020 – 2021) 
    University of Bern Seal of Excellence Fund (SELF)

  • Remote Sensing based estimation of national level Land Degradation Neutrality baseline for Botswana: (2019) with the Centre for Remote Sensing of land Surfaces, Institute of Geography, University of Bonn. Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany

  • Monitoring land degradation in the Central District of Botswana. A three-tier land degradation index mapping approach (LDIMapping). United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

  • Machine learning for characterizing urban deprivation types and intensity (2004 – 2007, 2009) with the Institute of Cartography and Geoinformatics (IKG), Faculty of Engineering and Geodetic Science, Leibniz University Hannover, Germany. Humboldt Research Fellowship Programme, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany.        

  • Geographic Information System Issues and Management
  • Spatial Modelling and Remote Sensing of Natural Systems
  • Remote Sensing for Earth and Environmental Science
  • Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management
  • Assessing and Monitoring Land Surface Dynamics in Bern
  • Natural Resources Management 
  • Sustainability Forum – Persistence and Change of Forests
  • Introduction to Biophysical Environment
  • Introduction to Human Environment

Selection (most recent years)



Akinyemi FO, and Ifejika Speranza C. 2022. Agricultural landscape change impact on the quality of land: An African continent-wide assessment in gained and displaced agricultural lands. International Journal of Applied Earth Observations and Geoinformation 106:102644. Elsevier  doi:10.1016/j.jag.2021.102644

Ifejika Speranza C, Akinyemi FO, Baratoux D, Benveniste J, Ceperley N, Driouech F, Helmschrot J. 2022. Enhancing the uptake of earth observation products and services in Africa through a multi-level transdisciplinary approach. Survey in Geophysics doi:10.1007/s10712-022-09724-1

Osemwegie I, Faye A, da Cruz Delgado K, Arimiyaw AW, Kanneh AB, Todota CT, Akinyemi FO 2022. Diagnostic Analysis of the Canary Current System of West Africa: The need for a paradigm shift to proactive natural resource management. Ocean Coast. Res. 69. doi:10.1590/2675.2824069.21022io



Akinyemi FO, Ghazaryan G, Dubovyk O. 2021. Assessing UN indicators of Land Degradation Neutrality and proportion of degraded land over Botswana using Remote Sensing based national level metrics. Land Degradation and Development. 32(1), 158-172. Wiley doi:10.1002/ldr.3695

Akinyemi FO. 2021. Vegetation trends, drought severity and land use-land cover change during the growing season in semi-arid contexts. Remote Sensing 13: 836. doi:10.3390/rs13050836

Akinyemi FO, Tlhalerwa LT, Eze PN 2021. Land degradation assessment in an African dryland context based on the Composite Land Degradation Index and Mapping method. Geocarto International 36(16): 1838-1854. Taylor and Francis  doi: 10.1080/10106049.2019.1678673



Akinyemi FO, Ikanyeng M, Muro J. 2020. Land cover change effects on land surface temperature trends in an African urbanizing dryland region. City and Environment Interactions. doi:10.1016/j.cacint.2020.100029

Mhete M, Eze PN, Rahube TO, Akinyemi FO (2020). Soil properties influence bacterial abundance and diversity under different land-use regimes in semi-arid environments. Scientific African 7, e00246. Elsevier



Akinyemi FO, Kgomo MO (2019). Vegetation dynamics in African drylands: An assessment based on the Vegetation Degradation Index in an agro-pastoral region of Botswana. Regional Environmental Change 19(7), 2027-2039. Springer Nature  

Akinyemi FO, Abiodun BJ (2019). Potential impacts of global warming levels 1.5oC and above on climate extremes in Botswana. Climatic Change 154, 387–400. Springer Nature



Akinyemi FO, Mashame G (2018). Analysis of land change in the dryland agricultural landscapes of eastern Botswana. Land Use Policy 76: 798-811. Elsevier

Akinyemi FO (2018). Incorporating Geographic Information Science in the BSc Environmental Science program in Botswana. Proceedings, International Cartographic Association, vol. 1, 3.



Akinyemi FO (2017). Land change in the central Albertine Rift: Insight from analysis and mapping of land use-cover change in north-western Rwanda. Applied Geography 87: 127-138. Elsevier

Akinyemi FO, Pontius, Jr RG, Braimoh AK (2017). Land change dynamics: Insights from Intensity Analysis applied to an African emerging city. Journal of Spatial Science 62(1): 69-83. Taylor and Francis

Akinyemi FO (2017). Climate change and variability in semi-arid Palapye, Eastern Botswana: An assessment from smallholder farmers’ perspective. Weather Climate Society 9:349-365. American Meteorological Society

Kebonye N, Eze P, Akinyemi FO (2017). Long-term treated wastewater impacts and source identification of heavy metal in semi-arid soil of Central Botswana Geoderma Regional 10: 200-214. Elsevier