Nichola Knox Personal Page


I’m an ecologist and natural resource manager specialised in the field of applied remote sensing used to analyse environmental systems.  I have two particular work and research goals, firstly to improve the delivery of quality earth observation products so that these products can be used with confidence by decision makers and field practitioners.  The second goal would be to enhance the use, understanding and acceptance of remote sensing technologies in applied ecology, in particular to aid conservation management.   

Have extensive experience in image analysis (multispectral and hyperspectral), spectral analysis (VNIR-MIR range), land cover mapping, statistical and spatial modelling of landscapes, and both research and teaching of GIS/RS for rural and natural land management practices.  In addition to the above broad experience, I have gained experience in the implementation and conducting of vegetation (specialising in woodland, savanna, grassland and desert ecosystems), animal (experience with drive counts, telemetry and mark and recapture) and ground truthing (for calibration and validation of RS products) surveys.

Research Interests:

  • Multi-angular and Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
  • Remote sensing applied to the analysis environmental systems
  • Improvement of Remote Sensing products to local conditions (e.g. through development of locally modified atmospheric corrections)

 Courses taught/developed:

  • Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Geostatistical Analysis
  • Co-ordinated and contributed to the development of the following courses while at the South African National Space Agency (SANSA):
    • Introduction to Remote Sensing
    • Capture, Extraction and Analysis of Spectra
    • Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
    • Introduction to R and Spatial Analysis

Capacity Development/outreach/public engagement/projects currently involved in:

  • MESA SADC - Fire Service Capacity Development Trainer
  • SASSCAL – PI for Task 33 – Development of a national forest monitoring plan for Namibia
  • NASA-Oracles and AERONET project development in Namibia
  • GIZ - Bush Encroachment Debushing project development
  • African Association for the Remote Sensing of Environment (AARSE) 2014 conference – Local Organising Committee (Education)
  • Development of an Honours curricula in Earth Observation


Publications list

ISI reviewed publications:

Nichola M. Knox, Sabine Grunwald, D.B. Myers, Meryl L. McDowell, Gregoray L. Bruland, William Harris. (2015) Modelling soil carbon fractions using VNIR and MIR spectroscopy. GEODERMA, 239-240: 229-239.

Nichola M. Knox, Andrew K. Skidmore, Harald M.A. van der Werff, Thomas A. Groen, Willem F. de Boer, Herbert H.T. Prins, Edward Kohi, Mike Peel. (2013) Differentiation of plant age in grasses using remote sensing. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 24:54-62.

Nichola M. Knox, Andrew K. Skidmore, Herbert H.T. Prins, Willem F. de Boer, Ignas M.A. Heitkonig, Frank van Langevelde. (2012) Remote sensing of forage nutrients: combining ecological and spectral absorption feature data. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 72: 27-35.

Nichola M. Knox, Andrew K. Skidmore, Gregory P. Asner, Herbert H.T. Prins, Harald M.A. van der Werff, Willem F. de Boer, Herbert H.T. Prins, Edward Kohi, Cornelis van der Waal, Henjo J. de Knegt, Robert Slotow, Rina C. Grant (2011). Mapping dry season savanna forage quality, using the hyperspectral Carnegie Airborne Observatory sensor. Remote Sensing of Environment, 115: 1478-1488.

N. M. Knox, A. K. Skidmore, M. Schlerf, W.F. de Boer, S.E. van Wieren, C. van der Waal, H.H.T. Prins and R. Slotow (2010). Nitrogen prediction in grasses: Effect of bandwidth and plant material state on absorption feature selection. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 31(3): 691-704.

Emmanuel Mwakiwa, Willem F. de Boer, John W. Hearne, Rob Slotow, Frank van Langevelde, Mike Peel, Cornelia C. Grant, Yolanda Pretorius, Johannes D. Stigter, Andrew K. Skidmore, Ignas M.A. Heitkonig, Henrik J. de Knegt, Edward M. Kohi, Nicky Knox, Herbert H.T. Prins. (2013). Optimization of wildlife management in a large game reserve through waterpoints manipulation: A bio-economic analysis. Journal of Environmental Management, 114: 352-361.

van der Meijde, M., Knox, N.M., Cundill, S., Noomen, M.F., van der Werff, H.M.A., Hecker, C. (2013). Detection of hydrocarbons in clay soils: A laboratory experiment using spectroscopy in the mid- and thermal infrared. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 23: 384-388.

Meryl L. McDowell, Gregory L. Bruland, Jonathan L. Deenik, Sabine Grunwald, Nichola M. Knox. (2012) Soil total carbon analysis in Hawaiian soils with visible, near-infrared and mid-infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. GEODERMA, 189-190: 312-320.

Pretorius, Y., Stigter, J.D., de Boer, W.F., de Jong, C.B., de Knegt, H. J., Grant, R. C., Heitkonig, I., Knox, N., Kohi, E., Mwakiwa, E., Peel, M. J. S., Skidmore, A. K., Slotow, R., van der Waal, C., van Langevelde,F., Prins, H. H. T. (2012). Diet selection of African elephant over time shows changing optimization currency. Oikos, 121(12): 2110-2120.

Pretorius, Y., de Boer, F. W., van der Waal, C., de Knegt, H. J., Grant, R. C., Knox, N. M., Kohi, E. M., Mwakiwa, E., Page, B. R., Peel, M. J. S., Skidmore, A. K., Slotow, R., van Wieren, S. E., Prins, H. H. T. (2011). Soil nutrient status determines how elephant utilize trees and shape environments. Journal of Animal Ecology, 80(4): 875-883.

Henrik J. de Knegt, Frank van Langevelde, Andrew K. Skidmore, Audrey Delsink, Rob Slotow, Steve Henley, Gabriela Bucini, Willem F. de Boer, Michael B. Coughenour, Cornelia C. Grant, Ignas M.A. Heitkonig, Michelle Henley, Nicky M. Knox, Edward M. Kohi, Emmanuel Mwakiwa, Bruce R. Page, Mike Peel, Yolanda Pretorius, Sipke E. van Wieren and Herbert H.T. Prins (2010). The spatial scaling of habitat selection by African elephants. Journal of Animal Ecology, 80(1): 270-281.

Edward M. Kohi, Willem F. de Boer, Martijn Slot, Sipke E. van Wieren, Jelle G. Ferwerda, Rina C. Grant, Ignas M. A. Heitkonig, Henjo J. de Knegt, Nicky Knox, Frank van Langevelde, Mike Peel, Rob Slotow, Cornelis van der Waal, Herbert H. T. Prins (2010). Effects of simulated browsing on growth and leaf chemical properties in Colophospermum mopane saplings. African Journal of Ecology, 48(1): 190-196.

Henrik J. de Knegt, Frank van Langevelde, Michael B. Coughenour, Andrew K. Skidmore, Willem F. de Boer, Ignas M.A. Heitkonig, Nicky M. Knox, Edward M. Kohi, Mike Peel, Rob Slotow, Cornelis van der Waal, Sip E. van Wieren, and Herbert H.T. Prins (2010). Spatial autocorrelation and the scaling of species-environment relationships. Ecology, 91(8): 2455-2465.



Nichola M. Knox (2010). Observing temporal and spatial variability of forage quality. PhD thesis, University of Twente.

Nichola M. Knox (2004). An assessment of techniques used for mapping lichen fields, RSA. MSc thesis, University of Twente.


Recent conference presentations:

Knox, N.M., Tsoeleng, L.T., Adjorolo, C., Newby, T. (2014) Crop identification and acreage estimate using a combination of Spot4Take5 & Landsat 8. A preparatory study for Sentinel 2. Oral Presentation, Sentinel 2 for Science Workshop, May 2014, Frascati, Italy.

Knox, N.M. and Sibandze, P. (2013) Human Capital Development in South Africa's EO community. Oral presentation, EARSEL Workshop on Education and Training, July 2013, Matera, Italy.

Knox, N.M., Skidmore, A.K., Mhangara, P. (2012) Non-linear spectroradiometric modelling for classification of savanna grasses. Poster presentation, IGARSS, July 2012, Munich, Germany.

Knox, N.M., Grunwald, S., Myers, D.B., and Chaikaew, P. (2011). Influence of validation sample selection in ecological modeling. Oral presentation, SSSA, October 2011, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


Invited talks & Delivered training

Knox, N.M. (2014). Hyperspectral Remote Sensing. National Remote Sensing Centre, Lusaka, Zambia (20{24 Oct)

Knox, N.M. (2014). Capture, extraction and analysis of spectra. AARSE Pre-Conference, University of Johannesburg, South Africa (20-24 Oct); University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa (17-20 Nov); University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa (August)

Knox, N.M. (2014). Antarctica: Sea, snow, rocks and ice, or a place of science. CSIR, Pretoria (April, 2014); & University Witwatersrand, South Africa (July, 2014)

Knox, N.M., Dinis, J., and Mahlangu, N.P. (2013). Tiger Training of Trainers (ToT) - Land Cover. Water Research Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (18-22 Nov, 2013)

Knox, N.M. and Sibandze, P. (2013). Capture, extraction and analysis of spectra. SANSA, Hartebeeshoek, South Africa (28{30 May, 2013)

Knox, N.M. (2013). A brief introduction to R and Spatial Analysis. SANSA, Hartebeeshoek, South Africa (27-28 March, 2013)

Knox, N. M. (2012). Post-Graduate Introduction to Hyperspectral Remote Sensing Course. Department of Geosciences, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa (13-17 August, 2012).

Knox, N.M. (2012). Remote sensing at SANSA: SA-German collaboration. SA-German Year of Science, Opening Symposium, ICC - Cape Town, South Africa (16-17 April, 2012).

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