VLIZ Poster Prize for Work on Satellite Remote Sensing of Lake Victoria.

VLIZ Poster Award for Robert Runya
23/02/2016
VLIZ Poster Prize for Work on Satellite Remote Sensing of Lake Victoria.
post by
Sigrid Maebe

On the VLIZ Marine Scientist Day 2016 student Robert Runya won the poster prize for his work on satellite remote sensing of Lake Victoria. This work is done at the ECODAM-group of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.

During the VLIZ Marine Scientist Day 2016 (VIVES, Brugge, 12 February 2016) more than 360 marine scientists gathered to share knowledge from lectures, posters, demonstrations and interactive sessions. Robert Runya, an Oceans &Lakes Masters student who is doing his thesis at the ECODAM-group of RBINS under the direct supervision of Dr Kevin Ruddick, won the prize for best posters for his work on satellite remote sensing of Lake Victoria.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. The lake is of great economic and ecological importance supporting fishing activities of local populations and serves as a biodiversity hotspot. Despite joint actions by the lake basin countries to enhance management and monitoring, the lake still remains under severe human pressure from eutrophication, over-exploitation and introduction of alien species. The introduction of Nile perch in the 1980s and increasing eutrophication from land-based nutrients are among the impacts that may lead to massive growth of invasive water hyacinths and has been linked to reduced water transparency.

Remote sensing study

The study of Robert Runya aims to demonstrate the potential use of satellite remote sensing as a low-cost, consistent and reliable tool to provide relevant information needed to enhance management and monitoring of Lake Victoria. It will provide thematic products, retrievable from satellite imagery such as maps of floating vegetation, suspended particulate matter and water transparency, which can potentially be linked to declining species diversity in the lake.

Robert explores the use of the Landsat-8, Landsat-5, Sentinel-2/MSI satellite and the geostationary SEVIRI series. None of these missions provide standard water quality products. RBINS- OD Nature has designed algorithms and processing software for these satellites so the processing of the data can be done for inland waters.

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