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Department of Plant Sciences


Research group

Research overview

I linking cutting edge AI techniques to remote sensing for tropical forest observation and monitoring.



2017, MSc Environmental Technology, Imperial College London

2014, Master of Physics, University of Oxford


Key publications

Ball, J. G. C., Hickman, S. H., Jackson, T. D., Koay, X. J., Hirst, J., Jay, W., ... & Coomes, D. A. (2023). Accurate delineation of individual tree crowns in tropical forests from aerial RGB imagery using Mask R‐CNN. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.

Ball, J. G. C., Petrova, K., Coomes, D. A., & Flaxman, S. (2022). Using deep convolutional neural networks to forecast spatial patterns of Amazonian deforestation. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 13(11), 2622-2634.

Aubry-Kientz, M., Laybros, A., Weinstein, B., Ball, J. G. C., Jackson, T., Coomes, D., & Vincent, G. (2021). Multisensor data fusion for improved segmentation of individual tree crowns in dense tropical forests. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 14, 3927-3936.

Ball, J. G. C., Burgman, M. A., Goldman, E. D., & Lessmann, J. (2021). Protecting biodiversity and economic returns in resource‐rich tropical forests. Conservation Biology, 35(1), 263-273.

Vincent, G., Verley, P., Brede, B., Delaitre, G., Maurent, E., Ball, J. G. C., ... & Barbier, N. (2023). Multi-sensor airborne lidar requires intercalibration for consistent estimation of light attenuation and plant area density. Remote Sensing of Environment, 286, 113442.


All publications

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Awards and fellowships

2017, AECOM Prize for outstanding overall academic performance (Imperial College London)

2019, NERC PhD studentship



Undergraduate supervision: Responses to Global Change, Natural Sciences Tripos, Part II, University of Cambridge.


Media appearance

Unpicking the rhythms of the Amazon rainforest - Where I work: James Ball (18 March 2021), Nature.

Postdoctoral Research Associate
James Ball suspended in a tree doing fieldwork

Contact Details

Email address: 
Department of Plant Sciences,
Downing Street,