Senior expert at Livestock Agri-food Systems


Tropical rangelands support large numbers of livestock-dependent households. Climatic variability impacts rangeland productivity, while resource exploitation and greenhouse gas emissions from rangelands affect the environment. The ‘livestock and the environment’ flagship of the CRP on Livestock aims to contribute to sustainable livestock production systems in developing countries by reducing their environmental footprint and adapting them to global environmental change. Satellite remote sensing can assist in understanding global change impacts on rangelands, and in assessing their environmental footprint. The Senior Expert will support the CRP flagship by co-leading and executing research on earth observation applications for rangeland monitoring and assessment, with a focus on three main pillars. The first pillar aims to improve the evaluation of rangeland productivity, taking advantage of new sensors to monitor seasonal variability in rangeland productivity with fine spatial detail, allowing for better separation of management and environmental impacts across rangeland types. The second pillar evaluates how resilient the productivity of various rangeland types is to climate variability, with a specific focus on observed and predicted increases of drought and intense rainfall. The third pillar examines the spatial and temporal distribution of night-time livestock enclosures and their active use with the aim to map hotspots of greenhouse gas emissions. All pillars will be implemented in existing East African pilot sites, and link to ongoing measurements by flux towers and phenological cameras, before upscaling the methods to the regional level. These pillars are expected to provide significant input to help design, promote, and monitor resilient livestock production systems.


Project number


Main applicant

Dr. ir. A. Vrieling

Affiliated with

Universiteit Twente, Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (ITC)


01/01/2019 to 31/12/2021