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


I study changes in the biosphere resulting from people-nature interactions, as mediated by human use of the land, and the implications of these changes for nature conservation and people’s well-being. I do this through a combination of remote sensing and spatial modeling among others. With my work, I aim to produce knowledge that can help to identify avenues to address the current global environmental crisis.

My research includes 1) the identification of commodity agricultural expansion, infrastructure interventions, and resource appropriation and the characterization of their effects on people and the environment 2) the understanding of social and biophysical drivers of biodiversity and environmental change in rural and urban areas such as deforestation, the proliferation of fires, air pollution, and the spread of infectious disease vectors and 3) the production of remote sensing methods and knowledge that can inform decision-making on biodiversity conservation.

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 | Website

Selected Publications

  • Gutierrez-Velez VH, Gilbert MR, Kinsey D, Behm JE. 2022. Beyond the urban and the rural: conceptualizing a new generation of infrastructure systems to enable rural-urban sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 56, 101177.
  • Lara Henao W, Londoño-Murcia MC, Gonzalez Garzón, I; Gutierrez Velez,VH. 2022. ecochange: An R-package to derive biodiversity indicators processing spatial ecosystem variables. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 13:11, 2379-2388
  • Gutierrez-Velez VH, Rodriguez J, Lara W, Sarmiento V. 2021. Probabilistic approximation to change and no change in multispectral remote sensing. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 42:19, 7428-7453
  • David M. Lapola, Patricia Pinho, Hannah Liddy, Luiz. E. O. C. Aragão, Ane A. C. Alencar, Liana O. Anderson, Dolors Armenteras P., Jos Barlow, Erika Berenguer, Victor Brovkin, Kim Calders, Rachel Carmenta Jeffrey Chambers, Louise Chini, Marcos H. Costa, Philip M. Fearnside, Joice Ferreira, Luciana Gatti, Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez, Zhangang Han, Kathy Hibbard, Charles Koven, Peter Lawrence, Bruno T. T. Portela, Carlos A. N. Quesada, Mark Rounsevell, Alex Ruane, R. Schaldach, Sonaira S. da Silva, Celso von Randow, Wayne Walker2023. The drivers and impacts of Amazon forest degradation. Science.379:6630. 11p.
  • 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
  • Applied Machine Learning for Spatial Analysis
  • Spatial Statistics
  • Land System Science

Media Mentions

Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez published in Science Magazine
via Science on January 31, 2023

Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez published in Science Magazine

Victor H. Gutierrez-Velez contributed to the research in the published study "The drivers and impacts of Amazon forest degradation" which looks at...