Gary Watmough

Affiliate, Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action

Gary Watmough is an affiliate of the Jameel Observatory for Food Security Early Action. He is an associate professor and senior lecturer in the School of Geosciences and an associate member of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems, both at the University of Edinburgh.

Gary’s research explores metrics to map human development using earth observation data. His particular area of focus is using earth observation proxies to estimate aspects of poverty and socioeconomic conditions in rural regions of low- and middle-income countries. He has also worked on several projects estimating human vulnerability to climate change and has contributed to the World’s first Children’s Climate Risk Index with UNICEF.

Gary’s overall research aim is to develop approaches using geospatial data and techniques for geographical targeting of scarce government and NGO resources, particularly in low and middle income countries. In this regard, his research supports the UN’s call for a data revolution in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help monitor progress and contribute to geographic targeting of scarce resources. Additionally, Gary has over 10 years experience working in the EO4SDGs (Earth Observation for Sustainable Development Goals).

A Jameel Observatory affiliate since 2021, Gary works with high- and very-high spatial resolution satellite data to identify how fine scale, local conditions can be better factored into a range of projects in pastoral communities. Gary also supervises Jameel Observatory student John Mutua’s PhD which uses earth observation (EO) combined with local ground truth data to estimate livestock feed composition in East Africa.

Gary holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Lancaster and a master’s of science and a doctorate of philosophy in remote sensing and spatial analysis from the University of Southampton.

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