Dr Palmer leads a research group in the ARC-Animal Production Institute that focuses on using remote sensing to evaluate landscape water use. The group also uses a range of spatial and temporal resolution imagery (very high resolution NIR imagery to 1 km MODIS imagery) to monitor rangeland condition across rural areas of southern Africa. Recent papers on this research have appeared in several international high impact journals including Austral Ecology, Ecosystems, Ecohydrology, Plant and Soil, Australian Journal of Botany, Functional Plant Biology, African Journal of Range and Forage Science, Research Letters in Ecology, International Journal of Remote Sensing and Catena. As a consultant on various World Bank-funded projects, he used satellite imagery to map and monitor land-use in southern Africa. Foremost of these was the World Bank’s Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the Sub-tropical Thicket Environmental Project from 1999-2002. During 2002, he was the regional co-ordinator for the National Land Cover Mapping project of the Dept of Agriculture.
Dr Palmer co-operated with the National Botanical Institute in the preparation of an improved new vegetation map for South Africa and continues to be involved in the establishment of a database of plant species data for the Nama-karoo, Succulent karoo, grassland, thicket and savanna biomes. This has involved synthesizing the total floristic data collected in all these biomes.
He has developed landscape analysis techniques which detect changes in natural rangeland (field survey, remote sensing, forage production modelling) and defined new perspectives on rangeland condition assessment (e.g. high resolution infra-red imagery and landscape function analysis). In 2009, he was awarded a C2 rating by the National Research Foundation (NRF) for his research on the use of MODIS products to estimate landscape scale plant water use and net primary production.
Last Modified: Thu, 08 Jun 2017 14:03:56 SAST