Dr Mitchell Lyons

Research Fellow

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science


Role: Research Fellow | Lecturer

Bio: I am a postdoc in the Remote Sensing Research Centre, and my research can be described as a mixture of Ecology, Geography and Statistics. I finished my PhD in 2013, at the University of Queensland, which focused on developing new remote sensing methods for long term monitoring and change detection in terrestrial and marine ecosystems. After this I focused on automated monitoring of seagrass environments using remote sensing and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). I then moved to UNSW, and shifted focus to application of modern statistical and modelling approaches for large scale vegetation classification and mapping problems, with a side interest in drone-acquired image data. I also teach some remote sensing, as well as programming and statistics in various short courses and workshops (http://environmentalcomputing.net/). My focus now at UQ is working on the Allen Coral Atlas global coral reef mapping project in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, where my primary activities include developing object-based (cloud-based, on the Google Earth Engine) classificaiton and mapping algorithms and accuracy assessment.

Technically speaking, my expertise lies in remote sensing and ecological modelling (statistics and machine learning), and I generally take a computational programming (R and Python specifically, and JavaScript on the Google Earth Engine) approach. Non-technically speaking, two young kids and a small farm take up most of my time, and if there's any left over I love getting into the river or the ocean.

Research field keywords: ecology, remote sensing and GIS, ecological modelling, vegetation science, statistical ecology

Research Impacts

Publications: see my Google Scholar profile (http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=9PnIKHYAAAAJ), and please contact me if you would like a copy of any of my papers.

Code + software: see my github page (https://github.com/mitchest/), and check out my R packages/tool if you are so inclined:

optimus - model-based clustering diagnostics - https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/optimus/index.html

c2c - comparing classification and clustering solutions to eachother - https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/c2c/index.html

online quantatative vegetation classificaiton tool - https://mitchest.shinyapps.io/vegplot/


  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Book Chapter

  • Kendrick, Gary A., Hovey, Renae K., Lyons, Mitchell, Roelfsema, Chris, Montoya, Leonardo Ruiz and Phinn, Stuart (2018). Australian seagrass seascapes: present understanding and future research directions. Seagrasses of Australia: structure, ecology and conservation. (pp. 257-286) edited by Anthony W. D. Larkum, Gary A. Kendrick and Peter J. Ralph. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-71354-0_9

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs