Dr. Vladimir Ruslan Wingate


Institute of Geography

+41 31 684 32 93
Postal Address
University of Bern
Institute of Geography
Hallerstrasse 12
CH-3012 Bern
Consultation Hour
by arrangement

Dr Wingate is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Switzerland. He holds a PhD (2017) in geography from the University of Basel, an MSc (2012) in Environmental Management from the University of Stirling (UK), and a BSc in Tropical Environmental Science from the University of Aberdeen (UK).
His research specialization is on the use of satellite and near-surface Remote Sensing and Earth Observation to measure ecological and environmental change across tropical, arctic and mountain biomes, and validate satellite products, respectively.  Developing change maps helps inform more sustainable natural resource and arable management, and provides quantitative data on global change processes including deforestation, land degradation, and climate change, as well as biodiversity and ecosystem functions monitoring, while acting as fundamental input to social, ecological and climate modeling studies.

Research Focus

My research focuses on the use, validation and integration of field datasets, with satellite and near-surface Remote Sensing imagery, for mapping ecological and environmental change across tropical, arctic and mountain biomes.
Change maps provide quantitative data on global change processes, including deforestation, land degradation, climate change, ecosystem functions and biodiversity. Monitoring global change is fundamental for social, ecological and climate modeling studies, and for informing sustainable natural resource management.


  • Remote sensing Land Surface Phenology
  • Remote sensing for Essential Biodiversity Variables
  • Land-climate interactions using Earth Observation
  • Biomass and biophysical variable change mapping
  • Land cover and land use change mapping
  • Near-surface remote sensing


Further professional interests

  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Ecosystem services and functions
  • Biodiversity-ecosystem function
  • Land degradation in drylands  
  • Ecological field methods
  • Global change quantification



Long-term Pheno-cam observations of a glacier fore-field in Turtmanntal Naturpark Pfyn Finges
Tropical forest patches under pressure: Dynamics, functions and sustainable management in agricultural landscapes of the West African forest and savannah zones (SUSTAINFORESTS)
Mapping trends in woody cover throughout Namibian savanna with MODIS seasonal phenological metrics and field inventory data


Field experience

Ghana, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Australia, Mexico, Switzerland, Scotland, Kyrgyzstan



English, French, Spanish, German (intermediate), Russian (beginner) 

Fall semester 2021

  • Master Seminar: Analyse und Überwachung der Landoberflächendynamik in Bern
  • Research in Geography
  • Sustainability Forum


  • The Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON)


  • GlobDiversity is the first large-scale project explicitly designed to develop and engineer RS-enabled EBVs. This project initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) supports the efforts of the Convention on Biological Diversity


  • NPOC (National Point of Contact) for Satellite Images is a public service, initiated by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education and Research



Egli, Markus, Guido Wiesenberg, Jens Leifeld, Holger Gärtner, Jan Seibert, Claudia Röösli, Vladimir Wingate, et al. 2021. ‘Formation and Decay of Peat Bogs in the Vegetable Belt of Switzerland’. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 114 (1): 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s00015-020-00376-0

Skidmore, Andrew K., Nicholas C. Coops, Elnaz Neinavaz, Abebe Ali, Michael E. Schaepman, Marc Paganini, W. Daniel Kissling, et al. 2021. ‘Priority List of Biodiversity Metrics to Observe from Space’. Nature Ecology & Evolution, May. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01451-x


Sandhage-Hofmann, Alexandra, Jörg Löffler, Elmarie Kotzé, Stef Weijers, Vladimir Wingate, Dirk Wundram, Lutz Weihermüller, Roland Pape, Chris C du Preez, and Wulf Amelung. 2020. “Woody Encroachment and Related Soil Properties in Different Tenure-Based Management Systems of Semiarid Rangelands.” Geoderma 372: 114399.

Meyer, Maximilian, Ekkehard Klingelhoeffer, Robin Naidoo, Vladimir Wingate, and Jan Börner. 2021.‘Tourism Opportunities Drive Woodland and Wildlife Conservation Outcomes of Community-Based Conservation in Namibia’s Zambezi Region’. Ecological Economics 180 (February): 106863. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106863

Roeoesli, Claudia, Mike Harfoot, Vladimir Wingate, Paganini Marc, Daniela M Guaras, David Marshall, Uta Heiden, AK Skidmore, AM Ali, and R Darvishzadeh. 2020. ‘RS-Enabled EBV Road Map’. Geo Bon Open Science Confernece & All Hands Meeting.


Wingate, Vladimir R, Stuart R Phinn, and Nikolaus Kuhn. 2019. ‘Mapping Precipitation-Corrected NDVI Trends across Namibia’. Science of the Total Environment 684: 96–112.


Wingate, Vladimir R., Stuart R Phinn, Nikolaus Kuhn, and Peter Scarth. 2018. “Estimating Aboveground Woody Biomass Change in Kalahari Woodland: Combining Field, Radar, and Optical Data Sets.” International Journal of Remote Sensing 39 (2): 577–606.

Bloemertz, Lena, Martha Naanda, Vladimir Wingate, Simon Angombe, and Nikolaus Kuhn. 2018. Land, Livelihoods and Housing Programme 2015-18 Working Paper. Working Paper No. 10 Ecosystem Services and Small-Holder Farming Practices - between Payments, Development Support and Right- an Integrated Approach. Vol. 1. 1 10. Windhoek: Integrated Land Management Institute.


Dhanjal-Adams, Kiran L, Jeffrey O Hanson, Nicholas J Murray, Stuart R Phinn, Vladimir R Wingate, Karen Mustin, Jasmine R Lee, James R Allan, Jessica L Cappadonna, and Colin E Studds. 2016. “The Distribution and Protection of Intertidal Habitats in Australia.” Emu 116 (2): 208–14.

Wingate, Vladimir, Stuart Phinn, Nikolaus Kuhn, Lena Bloemertz, and Kiran Dhanjal-Adams. 2016. “Mapping Decadal Land Cover Changes in the Woodlands of North Eastern Namibia from 1975 to 2014 Using the Landsat Satellite Archived Data.” Remote Sensing 8 (8): 681.


Dhanjal-Adams K. L., Hanson J. O., Murray N. J., Phinn S. R., Wingate V. R, Mustin K., Lee J. R., Allan J. R., Cappadonna J. L., Studds C. E., Clemens R. S., Roelfsema C. M., Fuller R. A. (2015) Mapped distribution of intertidal habitats in Australia between 1999 and 2014.

 2017  PhD Geography, University of Basel, supervised by Prof Nicolaus Kuhn, Physical Geography and Environmental Change, and Prof Stuart Phinn, Remote Sensing Research Centre, University of Queensland 
 2016  Visiting Scholar, Centre of Ecology and Hydrology, Earth Observation group, UK 
 2015  Endeavour Fellowship, Remote Sensing Research Centre, University of Queensland
 2011  MSc, Environmental Management, University of Stirling, UK
 2010  BSc, Tropical Environmental Science, University of Aberdeen, UK
Work experience
 Apr 2019 – Jul 2020  Postdoctoral researcher, Remote Sensing Laboratories, Department of Geography, University of Zurich: European Space Agency research project GlobDiversity
 Consultant at the National Point of Contact for Satellite Data (NPOC)
 Jan 2019 – Apr 2019  Postdoctoral researcher, Physical Geography and Environmental Change, University of Basel; Swiss-South African Joint Research Programme, Swiss National Science Foundation grant
 Jan 2018 – Jan 2019  Postdoctoral researcher, Collaborative Research Center (CRC) Future Rural Africa, Universities of Bonn and Cologne
 Jul – Sept 2013  GIS Analyst Placement, Redland City Council, Brisbane, Australia
 Mar – Jun 2013  Technical Assistant, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Brisbane, Australia
 Okt 2011 – Jan 2012  Environmental Technician Pacific Environment Limited, Brisbane, Australia
 Jun – Sept 2011  Research Assistant, Spatial Ecology Lab, University of Queensland 
 Jan – May 2011  Volunteer, Spatial Ecology Lab, University of Queensland 
 Nov – Jan 2010  Field Assistant, University of Stirling, Scottish Env. Protection Agency 
 Jun – Sept 2009  Research Assistant, University of Aberdeen, Madagasikara Voakajy Conservation NGO, Madagascar 
 Jun – Sept 2008  Internship, International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) Crops Research Institute Kumasi, Ghana