Qingling Wu


As a computer scientist and geographer by training, I am interested in applying my skills to help support the mitigation of, as well as adaptation to, the growing impact of climate change on global food security. Measuring the environmental impact of agriculture is an essential step towards this goal.

In April 2022 I joined the HESTIA project as a Data Analytics and Machine Learning Researcher in the Oxford Martin School Programme of the Food Sustainability Analytics. This aims to help quantify the environmental impact of farming, and to provide advice to farmers on how to improve agricultural sustainability, by building and enhancing HESTIA’s software capabilities in the validation and benchmarking of farm data.

Previously, I taught and conducted research in the Department of Geography at University College London, applying remote sensing and geospatial techniques to the monitoring of crop growth and estimation crop yields in developing countries. I hold a PhD in Geography from Clark University, USA, and a BEng in Software Engineering from China University of Geosciences.

Research Interests

I enjoy programming, particularly when I can apply my coding to help understand and address the deepening environmental and social impacts of climate change. I previously worked as software developer of remote sensing and GIS tools to help analyse spatial-temporal patterns in satellite data.

In the recent years, I have used satellite data and other geospatial data to monitor crop growth and help predict crop yield, with the aim of fostering food security in developing countries. This work focused on data analysis and modelling efforts, tailored to the monitoring of winter wheat and maize crops planted in the North China Plain and in Northern Ghana, wherein issues of food security and agricultural sustainability are deeply intertwined with pervasive rural poverty. This project has helped to build local capacity in the use of Earth Observation for crop monitoring, and was showcased at the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

Beyond monitoring crop growth, I am also interested in helping to quantify the environmental impact of farming activities in a multidimensional manner, by examining the combination of GHG emissions, soil degradation, land use change, biodiversity impacts, and other issues. My research agenda for the next few years will be centered on building and enhancing HESTIA’s software capabilities in this area, with the aiming of providing advice to farmers and growers on how to improve their sustainability.

Current Research

I am currently working with the HESTIA project to benchmark the environmental impact from individual farms, by building statistical models to systematically validate and measure these impacts.

Brief CV

2022 – Researcher, University of Oxford

2020 – 2022 Senior Teaching Fellow & Research Associate, UCL

2013 – 2020 Teaching Fellow & Research Associate of Remote Sensing, UCL

2006 – 2013 Software Developer, Clark Labs (IDRISI software), USA

2006 – 2013 Ph.D. Geography, Clark University, USA

2002 – 2006 B.Eng. Software Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan