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1988 …2024

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Prof. dr. ir. Alfred Stein (1958) is professor in Spatial Statistics and Image Analysis. He received his MSc in mathematics and information science, with a specialization in applied statistics from Eindhoven University of Technology. He obtained a PhD in 1991 at Wageningen University on spatial statistics. He started his career at the soil science and geology department of Wageningen university. In 1995 he was appointed a visiting professor at the Faculty ITC, in the soils department. In 1999 this changed to the department of spatial data acquisition.

In 2000 he was appointed a professor at the chair of mathematical and statistical models in Wageningen university (0.2) and in 2002 he became a 0.8 professor at the new department of Earth Observation Science at ITC, which he has headed for more than 10 years. In 2008 he became vice-rector research of the institute, a position that he had for four years. This was followed in 2012 by a position as portfolio holder education of the management team of the faculty.

His research interests focus on statistical aspects of spatial and spatio-temporal data, like monitoring data, in the widest sense. Optimal sampling, image analysis, spatial statistics, use of prior information, but also issues of data quality, fuzzy techniques, random sets, all in a Bayesian setting.

From 1998 onwards he has been working with more than 30 PhD students on a range of spatial (and temporal) statistical topics. Alfred Stein is a member of the CT de Wit Research School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation and of the SENSE research School. Since 2011 he is the editor-in-chief of the Spatial Statistics journal, the new leading platform in the field of spatial statistics. It publishes articles at the highest scientific level concerning important and timely developments in the theory and applications of spatial and spatio-temporal statistics. He is associate editor of the International Journal of Applied Geoinformation and Earth Observation, Statistica Neerlandica and Environmental and Ecological Statistics. At present, 11 PhD students are working under his supervision. 
He is editor of several books and of various special issues of journals.


  • Spatial (and temporal) statistics
  • General statistics
  • Fuzzy techniques and quality of spatial data
  • Bayesian networks
  • Image fusion

Research interests

My main research fields concern spatial and spatio-temporal statistics, including issues of data quality and its revision in geographic information systems. A second focus is on radar remote sensing, in relation to PolInsar. Applications domains are statistical aspects of modeling for agriculture, natural vegetation, health, urban landuse, coastal systems, hazards and wildlife.


  • Nitin Bhatia - Uncertainty propagation for remote sensing processing facilities

  • Rahul Raj - Quality assured estimates of forest gross primary productivity integrating earth observations and process-based model at the regional scale

  • Sibusisiwe A. Khuluse - Probabilistic risk assessment, integrating in situ, space borne imagery and GIS data

  • Divyani Kohli - Remote sensing based characterization of slum areas

  • Mengmeng Li - Handling uncertainty in urban land use changes monitored from VHR images

  • Gustavo Zárrate-Cárdenas - Spatial hierarchical analysis of social inequality: The case of student diversity in public schools in Florida, USA

  • Ratna Sari Dewi - Multi-temporal image analysis for coastal inundation monitoring

  • Nafiseh Ghasemi – Removing Temporal Decorrelation from PolInSAR for Forest Biomass Estimation

  • Adugna Mullissa - Polarimetric SAR interferometry and spatial statistical modeling for seismic hazard assessment

  • Sarah Fakhereh Alidoost - Remote sensing and spatial statistical methods to design an Irrigation Advisory System (IAS) for assessing near real time irrigation water requirement

  • Milad Mahour - Uncertainty assessment of disaggregation methods supporting real-time precision irrigation management

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town

Honorary Professor, University of Pretoria


  • GA Mathematical geography. Cartography

Artificial Intelligence Expert

  • Data Dependencies, Quality and Enrichment


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