Els Ducheyne


Belgian, MSc, PhD – Els (1976) graduated as doctor in the agricultural and applied biological sciences in 2003 and has over 10 years of experience in the field of geographical information systems, spatial modelling using statistical and machine learning techniques and in the set-up of spatial decision support systems.During her PhD (1999-2003), she focused on the integration of GIS and machine learning techniques to optimize forest resource management in the framework of multiple conflicting objectives. After her PhD, she was employed by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp (Belgium) to work on a collaborative project between ITM and Avia-GIS to model the spread of vectors of disease, in particular Culicoides in the Mediterranean basin. Since 2005, she joined Avia-GIS where she contributes to a wide range of projects which include spatial modelling sensu lato: presence/ absence, abundance and spread. Particular attention is given to output validation and uncertainty assessment. As part of her current tasks as Chief Technological Officer of Avia-GIS, Els delineates the scientific strategies and develops technological prototypes that lead to state-of-the-art spatial decision support systems for our clients. Large parts of the Avia-GIS research program are conducted in partnership with academic and research institutes within the framework of competitive research projects. Research results are embedded in state-of-the art systems and services following a stepwise procedure involving users’ inputs at every stage: identification of user needs and requirements, designing system requirements and system architecture and development of the final system. System validation is conducted through pilot studies in a pre-operational context.  Els is member of the editorial board of Geospatial Health, a leading peer-reviewed journal focusing on Health Applications in Geospatial Science.