Remote Sensing, Landscape Ecology, Land System Science, Sustainability Science, Spatial Modeling


My research aims to identify, understand and anticipate climatic and human drivers of change in land systems and the implications of such changes for people’s well-being and nature conservation. I do this through a combination of remote sensing and prediction modeling, among others. With my work, I aim to produce knowledge that can facilitate transitions towards sustainability.

My research includes 1) the identification of commodity agricultural expansion, infrastructural interventions, and resource appropriation and the characterization of their effects on the functioning of land systems 2) the understanding of social and biophysical drivers of environmental hazards such as the proliferation of fires in rural landscapes and the spread of infectious disease vectors in urban areas and 3) the contribution of remote sensing to produce methods and knowledge relevant for decision-making.

I have a master’s degree in Geographic Information Science from Clark University and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology from Columbia University.

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

  • Gutierrez-Velez VH, Rodriguez J, Lara W, Sarmiento V. (in press). Probabilistic approximation to change and no change in multispectral remote sensing. International Journal of Remote Sensing.
  • Estupinan-Suarez, L.M., Gans, F., Brenning, A., Gutierrez–Velez, V.H., Londono, M.C., Pabon–Moreno, D.E., Poveda, G., Reichstein, M., Reu, B., Sierra, C.A., 2021. A regional Earth system data lab for understanding ecosystem dynamics: An example from northern South America. Frontiers in Earth Science 9, 574.
  • Pearsall, H., Gutierrez-Velez, V.H., Gilbert, M.R., Hoque, S., Eakin, H., Brondizio, E.S., Solecki, W., Toran, L., Baka, J.E., Behm, J.E., 2021. Advancing equitable health and well-being across urban–rural sustainable infrastructure systems. npj Urban Sustainability 1, 1–6.
  • Wiese D, Stroup AM, Maiti A, Harris G, Lynch S, Vucetic S, Gutierrez-Velez VH, Henry KA. 2021. Measuring Neighborhood Landscapes: Associations between neighborhood’s landscape characteristics and colon cancer survival. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18. 4728. † Advisee
  • Gutierrez-Velez, VH & Wiese, D. 2020. Sampling bias mitigation for species occurrence modeling using Machine Learning Methods. Ecological informatics. 58. 101091.
  • Anaya, JA, Gutiérrez-Vélez VH, Pacheco-Pascagaza AM, Palomino-Ángel S, Han N, Balzter H. 2020. Drivers of forest loss in a megadiverse hotspot on the Pacific Coast of Colombia. Remote Sensing. 12(1235).
  • Miguel D. Mahecha, Fabian Gans, Gunnar Brandt, Rune Christiansen, Sarah Cornell, Norman Fomferra, Guido Kraemer, Jonas Peters, Paul Bodesheim, Gustau Camps-Valls, Jonathan Donges, Wouter Dorigo, Lina Estupinan-Suarez, Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez, Martin Gutwin, Martin Jung, Maria Londono, Diego Miralles, Phillip Papastefanou, and Markus Reichstein. 2020. Earth system data cubes unravel global multivariate dynamics. Earth System Dynamics. 11: 201-234
  • Wiese D, Escalante A, Murphy H, Henry K,Gutierrez-Velez, VH***. 2019. Integrating environmental and neighborhood factors in MaxEnt modeling to predict species distributions: A case study of Aedes albopictus in southeastern Pennsylvania. PLOS ONE. 14(10): e0223821. ***Senior Author (FLAE norm) advisee
  • Glinskis EGutierrez-Velez VH. 2019 Quantifying and understanding carbon emissions from land cover changes between large and small oil palm expansion regimes in the Peruvian Amazon. Land Use Policy80: 95-106 advisee

Courses Taught

  • Remote Sensing/Environmental Remote Sensing
  • Advanced Remote Sensing
  • Sustainable Natural-Human Systems