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M.Sc. Teja Kattenborn

Scientific staff
Group: Vegetation
Room: 703.3 (Geb. 10.50)
Phone: +49 721 608-43829
teja kattenbornNut1∂kit edu

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie
Kaiserstr. 12
76131 Karlsruhe

Teja Kattenborn

Remote sensing of vegetation, UVA-based remote sensing, hyperspectral data


  • Deep Learning and Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN)
  • Radiative transfer modelling of plant canopies
  • Remote Sensing of plant functions and strategies
  • Hyperspectral remote sensing
  • UAV-based remote sensing applications

Curriculum vitae

Since 2018 PostDoc at the IfGG
2018 Visiting Scientist at the Bio-Economy Unit, Directorate D - Sustainable Resources, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission, Ispra, Italy.
2017 Research Stay at the Cavender-Bares Lab, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA.
2015 - 2018 PhD dissertation at the IfGG Combination of empirical and physical based models for habitat and vegetation monitoring.
Since 2014 Co-CEO at GeoCopter
2012 - 2014 M.Sc. Environmental Sciences (major) / GIS & Environmental Modelling (minor), Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg.
2012 - 2014 Research Assistant at the Chair of Remote Sensing and Landscape Information Systems (FeLis), Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg.
2009 - 2012 B.Sc. Environmental Sciences (major) / Hydrology (minor), Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg / Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


Data analysis, Introduction to R, Scientific Research Skills

Grants & Awards

2019       Young Scientist Oral Presentation Award (1st prize) at the IAVS Annual Symposium 2019, Bremen, Germany for the presentation Combining Convolutional Neural Networks and high resolution UAV imagery – a powerful tool for vegetation mapping.

2021       DLR/BMWi-funded research project UAVforSAT - Operationalization of Vegetation Mapping through UAV-based Reference Data Acquisitions and Cloudbased Analysis of Earth Observation Data.

2019       ARCADIS prize for geo- and environmental research for the PhD thesis Linking Plant functioning and Canopy Reflectance with Radiative Transfer Modelling.

2019       Award for the best oral presentation at the EARSel SIG Imaging Spectroscopy Workshop Brno, Czech Republic, for the presentation After this Talk You will always map Leaf Pigment Content and not Concentration.

2014       Fellowship for the project Development of a UAV-Based beach-profile monitoring system on outer islands, Freunde der Universität, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany.

2014       Karl-Steinbuch-fellowship 2013 for the project Development of a UAV-based Monitoring Workflow for the detection of growth deficiencies and loss on agricultural areas.

2012       DAAD-fellow (PROMOS pogramme) in the cooperation project Assessing Utilization of Lesser Known Species in Colombia, Facultad de Medio Ambiente (Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogotá / Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg).




Contributions in peer-reviewed journals
2020Eichel, J., Draebing, D., Kattenborn, T., Senn, J., Klingbeil, L., Wieland, M., Heinz, E. (2020): Unmanned aerial vehicle-based mapping of turf-banked solifluction lobe movement and its relation to material, geomorphometric, thermal and vegetation properties. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 31, pp. 97–109. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1002/ppp.2036 PDF

Kattenborn, T., Eichel, J., Wiser, S. K., Burrows, L., Fassnacht, F. E., Schmidtlein, S. (2020): Convolutional Neural Networks accurately predict cover fractions of plant species and communities in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle imagery. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation (RSEC). Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1002/rse2.146 PDF

Kattge, J., Bönisch, G., Díaz, S., Lavorel, S., Prentice, I. C., Leadley, P., Tautenhahn, S., Werner, G., ..., .., Kattenborn, T., et al., .. (2020): TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access. Global Change Biology 26, pp. 119–188. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1111/gcb.14904 PDF

Poblete, T., Camino, C., Beck, P., Kattenborn, T., Saponari, M., Boscia, D., Navas-Cortes, J., Zarco-Tejada, P. J. (2020): Detection of Xylella fastidiosa infection symptoms with airborne multispectral and thermal imagery: assessing bandset reduction performance from hyperspectral analysis. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 162, pp. 27–40. 10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2020.02.010 PDF

2019Fassnacht, F. E., Schiller, C., Kattenborn, T., Zhao, X., Qu, J. (2019): A Landsat-based vegetation trend product of the Tibetan Plateau for the time-period 1990–2018. Scientific Data 6(Artikel 78). Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1038/s41597-019-0075-9

Kattenborn, T., Eichel, J., Fassnacht, F. E. (2019): Convolutional Neural Networks enable efficient, accurate and fine-grained segmentation of plant species and communities from high-resolution UAV imagery. Nature Scientific Reports 9, pp. 17656. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1038/s41598-019-53797-9 PDF

Kattenborn, T., Lopatin, J., Förster, M., Braun, A. C., Fassnacht, F. E. (2019): UAV data as alternative to field sampling to map woody invasive species based on combined Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2 data. Remote Sensing of Environment 227, pp. 61–73. 10.1016/j.rse.2019.03.025 PDF

Kattenborn, T., Schiefer, F., Zarco-Tejada, P. J., Schmidtlein, S. (2019): Advantages of retrieving pigment content [µg/cm²] versus concentration [%] from canopy reflectance. Remote Sensing of Environment 230(111195). 10.1016/j.rse.2019.05.014 PDF

Kattenborn, T., Schmidtlein, S. (2019): Radiative transfer modelling reveals why canopy reflectance follows function. Nature Scientific Reports. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1038/s41598-019-43011-1 PDF

Lopatin, J., Dolos, K., Kattenborn, T., Fassnacht, F. E. (2019): How canopy shadow affects invasive plant species classification in high spatial resolution remote sensing. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation, pp. 1–16. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1002/rse2.109 PDF

Lopatin, J., Kattenborn, T., Galleguillos, M., Perez-Quezada, J., Schmidtlein, S. (2019): Using aboveground vegetation attributes as proxies for mapping peatland belowground carbon stocks. Remote Sensing of Environment 231, pp. 1–14. 10.1016/j.rse.2019.111217 PDF

Zarco-Tejada, P. J., Hornero, A., Beck, P., Kattenborn, T., Kempeneers, P., Hernández-Clemente, R. (2019): Chlorophyll content estimation in an open-canopy conifer forest with Sentinel-2A and hyperspectral imagery in the context of forest decline. Remote Sensing of Environment 223, pp. 320–355. 10.1016/j.rse.2019.01.031 PDF

2018Kattenborn, T., Fassnacht, F. E., Schmidtlein, S. (2018): Differentiating plant functional types using reflectance: Which traits make the difference? Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation 5(1). Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1002/rse2.86 PDF

Kattenborn, T., Hernández, J., Lopatin, J., Kattenborn, G., Fassnacht, F. E. (2018): Pilot study on the retrieval of DBH and diameter distribution of deciduous forest stands using cast shadows in UAV-based orthomosaics. ISPRS Annals of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, pp. 93–99. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.5194/isprs-annals-IV-1-93-2018 PDF

Zarco-Tejada, P. J., Camino, C., Beck, P., Calderon, R., Hornero, A., Hernández-Clemente, R., Kattenborn, T., Montes-Borrego, M., Susca, L., Morelli, M., Gonzalez-Dugo, V., North, P., Landa, B., Boscia, D., Saponari, M., Navas-Cortes, J. (2018): Previsual symptoms of Xylella fastidiosa infection revealed in spectral plant-trait alterations. Nature Plants 4(7). Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.1038/s41477-018-0189-7

2017Fassnacht, F. E., Mangold, D., Schäfer, J., Immitzer, M., Kattenborn, T., Koch, B., Latifi, H. (2017): Estimating stand density, biomass and tree species from very high resolution stereo-imagery – towards an all-in-one sensor for forestry applications? Forestry 90, pp. 613–631. 10.1093/forestry/cpx014 PDF

Kattenborn, T., Fassnacht, F. E., Pierce, S., Lopatin, J., Grime, J. P., Schmidtlein, S. (2017): Linking plant strategies and plant traits derived by radiative transfer modelling. Journal of Vegetation Science 28, pp. 717–727. 10.1111/jvs.12525

Lopatin, J., Fassnacht, F. E., Kattenborn, T., Schmidtlein, S. (2017): Mapping plant species in mixed grassland communities using close range imaging spectroscopy. Remote Sensing of Environment 201, pp. 12–23. 10.1016/j.rse.2017.08.031 PDF

2015Kattenborn, T., Maack, J., Fassnacht, F. E., Enßle, F., Ermert, J., Koch, B. (2015): Mapping forest biomass from space – Fusion of hyperspectral EO1-hyperion data and Tandem-X and WorldView-2 canopy height models. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 35, pp. 359–367. 10.1016/j.jag.2014.10.008 PDF

Maack, J., Kattenborn, T., Fassnacht, F. E., Enßle, F., Hernández, J., Corvalán, P., Koch, B. (2015): Modeling forest biomass using Very-High-Resolution data - Combining textural, spectral and photogrammetric predictors derived from spaceborne stereo images. European Journal of Remote Sensing 48, pp. 245–261. PDF

2014Kattenborn, T., Sperlich, M., Bataua, K., Koch, B. (2014): Automatic single palm tree detection in plantations using UAV-based photogrammetric point clouds. International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing & Spatial Information Sciences. Unter den Bedingungen von Open Access verfügbar 10.5194/isprsarchives-XL-3-139-2014 PDF

2013Fritz, A., Kattenborn, T., Koch, B. (2013): UAV-based photogrammetric point clouds - Tree stem mapping in open stands in comparison to terrestrial laser scanner point clouds. Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spat. Inf. Sci. 40, pp. 141–146. 10.5194/isprsarchives-xl-1-w2-141-2013 PDF

Contributions in journals and series (not peer-reviewed)
2015Fassnacht, F. E., Kattenborn, T. (2015): Von Flughunden und Drohnen. Forum der Geoökologie 26, pp. 15–18.

Book chapters
2014Koch, B., Kattenborn, T., Straub, C., Vauhkonen, J. (2014): Segmentation of forest to tree objects. pp. 89–112. In: Maltamo, M., Næsset, E., Vauhkonen, J. (ed.): Forestry Applications of Airborne Laser Scanning: Concepts and Case Studies.

Conference Proceedings
2017Lopatin, J., Fassnacht, F. E., Kattenborn, T., Schmidtlein, S. (2017): Hyperspectral classification of grassland species: towards a UAS application for semi-automatic field surveys. Presented at EGU, Vienna, Austria, 08-13 April. Oral presentation. 10.13140/RG.2.2.25184.79361

Lopatin, J., Fassnacht, F. E., Kattenborn, T., Galleguillos, M., Jorge, P., Schmidtlein, S. (2017): Mapping peatland carbon stock: a structural equation modeling approach. Presented at IAVS, Palermo, Italy, 20-24 June. Oral presentation. 10.13140/rg.2.2.15118.46406 PDF

Publications in Conference Proceedings
2014Sperlich, M., Kattenborn, T., Koch, B., Kattenborn, G. (2014): Potential of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Based Photogrammetric Point Clouds for Automatic Single Tree Detection. In: Seyfert, E., Gülch, E., Heipke, C., Schiewe, J., Sester, M. (ed.): DGPF Tagungsband - Gemeinsame Tagung 2014 der DGfK, der DGPF, der GfGI und des GiN.

2013Kattenborn, T. (2013): Forest Change Assessment and Corresponding Driver Analysis in the Magdalena Department, Colombia (1985-2010). In: Seyfert, E., Gülch, E., Heipke, C., Schiewe, J., Sester, M. (ed.): Tagungsband der 33. Wissenschaftlich-Technische Jahrestagung der DGPF 27.02 - 1.03. 2013.