The RSWS group combines principles of remote sensing, ecohydrology, and limnology and uses novel Earth Observation approaches in combination with process models to assess the availability, quality and use of water. Our research activities include the development of novel of remote sensing approaches to assess water in the soli-vegetation-atmosphere system to eventually understand the role of vegetation in the water cycle. Further, imaging spectroscopy techniques are developed and applied to advance approaches for water quality assessment and to extend the range of water quality measures.

Core research projects


Fluorescence Explorer (FLEX) mission by the European Space Agency (ESA) Link

HyPlant Processing Experiment (Hyper) by the European Space Agency (ESA) Link


PhD Projects


Ahmed, Rifat. Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Transpiration. University of Zurich (CH), Faculty of Science. (A. Damm, J. Seibert, E. Paul-Limoges, E. Haghighi)

Gupana, Remika. Remote Sensing of Algae Occurrence and Composition. University of Zurich (CH), Faculty of Science, and Eawag (CH). (A. Damm, D. Odermatt, F. Altermatt, TBD)



Braun, Daniela (2017). Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Services. University of Zurich (CH), Faculty of Science. (A. Damm, M.E. Schaepman, O. Petchey, L. Hein, (WUR))

Naegeli, Kathrin (2017). State, change and impact of glacier surface albedo in the Swiss Alps. University of Fribourg (CH). (M. Hoelzle, M. Huss, A. Damm (UZH), A. Kääb, (University of Oslo))


MSc Theses

Available topics: Please contact Alex Damm for details

Remote Sensing of Sun-Induced Chlorophyll Fluorescence

Remote Sensing of Plant-Water Interactions

Remote Sensing of Surface Water Quality

Remote Sensing for Carbon and Water Cycle Research

Remote Sensing of Ecosystem Functioning



Brüderlin, Luca. Habitat mapping and retrieval of benthic and water information of Shark Bay, Australia. (Co-supervision between A. Damm and M. Krützen)



Kraft, Basil (2017) Measuring plant traits - a comparison of imaging spectroscopy and a functional trait database. (Co-supervision between M. Schaepman, A. Damm)

Mörgeli, Franziska (2017). Sojificación und „land grabbing“: Die Veränderung der Landnutzung im Nordosten Argentiniens. (Co-supervision between C. Bernd, A. Damm)

Speckert, Tiziana (2017). Environmental stress impacts on plant functioning: Insights from common and new Earth observation approaches. (Co-supervision between A. Damm, M. Schaepman)

Fawcett, Dominic (2015). Pixel based estimates of direct and diffuse irradiance components for improved retrievals of plant pigments and chlorophyll fluorescence. (Co-supervision between A. Damm, M. Schaepman)
Henry, Claudio (2015). Improved retrievals of pigments and fluorescence using the directional area scattering factor. (Co-supervision between A. Damm, M. Schaepman)