Ittai Herrmann



I was born and raised in Beer-Sheva, Israel. Lived some time in Jerusalem where I earned my Israeli tour guiding license. Spent some time at the shores of Tel-Aviv and moved back to Beer-Sheva for BA (Geography) in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev where I meet Dr. Arnon Karnieli, joined his Remote Sensing Laboratory in Sede-Boker Campus for MA (desert studies) focusing on vegetation assessment by the short wave infrared spectral region from space and stayed also for PhD exploring hyperspectral applications of precision agriculture for field crops in drylands. For my PhD Dr. David J. Bonfil of the Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center has joined as an additional advisor. Later I Joined a company researching spectral analyses of chicken eggs and eventually went back to the lab of Dr. Arnon Karnieli as a postdoc researcher. As a result of me joining Dr. Phil Townsend lab my wife and our two kids are now enjoying Madison, WI.

My current research mainly explores time series of data obtained by multi and hyper spectral sensors for site specific agriculture of field crops. Here, together with Dr. Shawn Conley from the Department of Agronomy the focus is on Soy beans. Examining several soy trails by hyperspectral airborne imagery as well as sudden death syndrome spectral assessment on ground level. My main research interest is in spectral assessment of vegetation and specific topics are: nutrients, spider mites damage as well as yield prediction, weed detection and leaf area index. I see the importance of combining spectral data with other data sources as a key element in better understanding the agricultural ecosystems and the interactions with its surroundings ecosystems.bighorn

John Couture

Personal Website JCOUTURE


Personal biography: I was born in Indianapolis, IN and raised in Kalamazoo, MI. I earned my BSc (Biology) at Western Michigan University. I received my MSc at Western Michigan University (Biological Sciences) with Dr. Stephen Malcolm focusing on plant chemical defense responses to specialist herbivores and trophic-level ecology in milkweed. I went on to gain my PhD (Entomology) at the University of Wisconsin with Dr. Richard Lindroth studying the effects of atmospheric change on plant-insect interactions and ecosystem ecology. Most of my free time is dedicated to enjoying camping, sports, gardening, and generally having a good time with my family.

Research Bio: My research focuses on how environmental variation influences chemically-mediated plant and insect ecological processes. I am specifically interested in understanding plant and insect responses to environmental change. Plants respond to environmental change and in turn influence trophic-level interactions that feedback to affect plant and herbivore growth, community structure, and ecosystem functioning. In addition, I am interested in advancing the utility of hyperspectral data to characterize plant chemical and metabolic profiles. I employ a combination of field-based measurements, manipulative experiments, remote sensing technology, statistical modeling, and interdisciplinary collaborations to test basic ecological theory, ultimately providing applied approaches to better understand and manage natural resources.



Biochemical Spectroscopy

Dimensions of Biodiversity

Remote Sensing Insects in Madison

Characterizing Insect Communities and Insect-mediated Ecosystem Processes in Aspen dominated Forests

Scaling hyperspectral imagery


Aditya Singh

  • Hometown: Udaipur, Rajasthan India
  • Education:
    • PhD, Forestry
    • MS, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
    • Post graduate diploma, Geoinformatics applications for Environmental Assessment and Disaster Management
    • Post graduate diploma, Urban Planning
    • B. Architecture
  • Research focus: Using a combination of spectroscopic, airborne and remotely sensed data to assess the influence of environmental change on landscape-scale patterns of ecosystem service provision.
  • Other interests: Sensor development, architectural and graphic design, fieldwork of any kind, hiking, camping and fishing off the great waters of Wisconsin.IMG_0075

Personal: I was born and went to school in Indore, India, and have had the good fortune to live and work across India and in the US in a variety of academic and professional capacities. Starting as a student of Architecture in the historical city of Gwalior in central India (1994), I went on to earn my master’s degree in Urban Planning from CEPT University (2000), Ahmedabad. I subsequently worked as a research consultant on projects related to urban development, disaster management, and socio-economic and environmental analysis to provide decision support for several regional planning exercises. I moved back to my core interest, research in forest and wildlife ecology, after obtaining a post-graduate diploma in geoinformatics with a forestry focus (2003). After a short stint working with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore (2005) as an ecoinformatics specialist, I moved to the US for an MS in wildlife ecology and conservation in 2006 and subsequently to the Townsend Lab for my PhD in Forestry in 2008. My research has taken me from arid western India, biodiversity hotspots in the Himalayas and the Western Ghats, the Colorado Rockies and the forests of the Upper Midwestern US and finally to the soy fields in Wisconsin.

My research has had a fundamental role in driving my wife and two kids up the wall. While my other interests include sensor development, architectural and graphic design, fieldwork of any kind, hiking, camping and fishing off the great waters of Wisconsin, they would argue I basically just dream of these while dozing on the couch.

Professional: Overall, my research involves using a combination of spectroscopic, airborne and remotely sensed data to assess the influence of environmental change on landscape-scale patterns of ecosystem service provision. I define ecosystem service provision in the broadest, non-anthropocentric, sense possible. Consequently, my research has involved species distribution modelling for endangered species and invasive exotics, space use and habitat selection by wildlife, assessing the effects of disturbance on landscape-scale nutrient cycling processes, using spectroscopy to relate foliar biochemistry with watershed-scale nutrient export and recently assessing the impact of invasive insect pests on agricultural productivity and relating forest phenology with population dynamics of wildlife in Wisconsin using camera trap photographs. As part of the Townsend lab, a large proportion of my responsibilities include developing algorithms to process and interpret spectroscopic data and imagery. Apart from writing manuscripts and assisting in proposal development, I am heavily involved in developing tools and techniques for high-volume, high-throughput satellite data processing. My weapons of choice to tackle these jobs are Python, R, IDL, and Matlab (in that order of preference). Some code examples, and a somewhat current list of publications can be accessed at


Last updated: May 21, 2014