Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

SENSE symposium: 'Innovative research techniques in Environmental Sciences'

Date: 11 October 2019
Time: 09:30 - 17:00
Location: Enschede

This SENSE symposium focuses on innovative research strategies and practices through cutting edge technology. Tags, sensors, DNA sequencing, big data, machine learning, new materials, high speed cameras, drones, Artificial Intelligence (AI), CRISPR-Cas, bioacoustics, and synthetic biology are examples of the new research techniques, enabling new innovative research methods in environmental research.
The symposium will present current PhD and staff research projects using these innovative techniques and will show the new horizons for environmental research.

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Programme Committee

  • Prof. Alfred Stein and Prof. Raul Zurita-Milla (ITC-UT)
  • Prof. Arnold Tukker (CML-LU) (t.b.c.)
  • Prof. Remko Uijlenhoet (WIMEK-WUR)
  • Dr Dim Coumou (IVM-VU)

Preliminary Programme

10.00 - 10.30 Registration, coffee and tea
10.30 - 10.40Prof. Alfred Stein (ITC)Welcome
10.40 - 11.00Dr. Dim Coumou (IVM-VU)Developments in novel machine learning techniques to gain new insights in the effects of climate change
11.00 - 11.20Prof. Raul Zurita-Milla (ITC)Combining citizens, computers and cloud resources to sense seasonality
11.20 - 11.40Prof. Arnold Tukker (CML)Thoughts about the use of big data for assessments on natural resources
11.40 - 12.00Prof. Tinka Murk (WUR)Unveiling mobile marine life with e-DNA techniques
12.00 - 12.30All keynote speakersPanel discussion
12.30 - 13.30AllLUNCH BREAK
13.30 - 15.30PhD candidates, postdocs, staffParallel sessions - pitches PhD candidates, postdocs and staff (pitch: max 10 minutes presentation and 5 minutes discussion)
15.30 - 15.50 Coffee and tea break
15.50 - 16.30Young SENSE researchersSummary; lessons learned; views on future developments
16.30 - 17.00 Drinks and bites


Call for pitches

All SENSE researchers are invited to present a pitch (10 minutes presentation and 5 minutes discussion) about their innovative research techniques and the application in environmental sciences for a broad SENSE audience in the following categories / parallel sessions:

  • Machine learning – Artificial Intelligence
  • Big data analysis
  • Use of drones and new sensor techniques
  • Non-optical and non-imaging sensor techniques
  • Voluntary and involuntary sensing (combining citizen science and the opportunistic sensing concept)
  • e-DNA research developments

Grab this chance and send an abstract of your presentation (max 250 words, including your name, affiliation, title presentation, preferred parallel session / category and summary of your presentation) to
Abstract submission date: closed!


Participation is free, but registration is required. Please register HERE.


Johan Feenstra (


Dr Dim Coumou
Water and Climate Risk group
IVM-VU, Faculty of Science

My prime research interest is understanding how global warming affects the number and intensity of extreme weather events like heat waves, heavy rainfall and persistent droughts. I use a variety of methods, including advanced statistical analyses, climate models and novel machine learning techniques, to gain new insights. Working with high-level stakeholders (e.g. the World Bank) ensures that my research focusses on the most relevant extremes, i.e. those with the highest risks for society. I have authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications, with several in top-ranking journals, the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, 3 World Bank reports and several book chapters.

Prof. Dr. Raul Zurita-Milla
Department of Geo-information Processing
Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente

Raul ZURITA-MILLA is professor on spatio-temporal analytics at the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth observation (ITC) of the University of Twente. He holds two MSc degrees, one in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Cordoba (Spain) and another one (with distinction) in Geo-information Science from Wageningen University (the Netherlands). He also holds a PhD degree in remote sensing from Wageningen University. Raul is actively involved in teaching GIS, Remote Sensing and programming courses to international MSc students as well as in various national and international research and capacity building projects (i.a. funded by BMGF, FAO, ESA and NWO). Presently, he coordinates the capacity building activities of the agricultural and rural development cluster of the EO4SD initiative funded by ESA.