GEOAquaWatch Steering Committee 2023-2025

We are so pleased to introduce our distinguished GEO Aqua Watch Steering Committee Members for 2023-2025!

Emma Tebbs, Kings College London (Current Chair 2022-2023)

Felipe Lobo, Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), Brazil (Current Ex-Officio Advisor, Past Chair 2021-2022)






Photo of Neil Sims, CSIRO
Neil Sims, CSIRO

Neil Sims Ph.D. is a Research Manager at CSIRO Australia, with more than 25 years’ experience in the application of EO technologies to fields including ecosystem monitoring, forestry, land degradation assessment and water resources monitoring and modelling.  He also serves as Program Manager of CSIRO’s Space Technology Future Science Platform, which funds more than 20 projects across the space domain to build innovation across the Australian space industry.  Neil has worked extensively with CEOS and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and have received two awards for Innovation and Individual Excellence from GEO.  He co-Chairs the GEO Land Degradation Neutrality Flagship and recently co-led the review of the GEOSS Platform for GEO.   He is currently Acting Deputy Director of AquaWatch Australia, a CSIRO-led ‘Mission’ to map water quality from space across Australia and the world.  In this role he established partnerships with international world leaders in the field of water quality monitoring, and helped define the national and global objectives for the Mission.  In particular Neil is interested in connecting Indigenous learnings to technology systems providing water quality information to a wide range of stakeholders. 



Photo of Flora Kerblatt
Flora Kerblatt, CSIRO

Flora Kerblatt is an International Research Project & Engagement Lead for the CSIRO Centre for Earth Observation (CCEO), Flora focuses on strengthening CSIRO partnerships with Space Agencies and EO stakeholders across the globe, linking experts, and coordinating strategic activities. Her contributions also advance EO research and data uptake in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region (EO and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs). She plays a key role in the newly launched AquaWatch Australia programme by increasing international engagement through Science Advisory Group and pilot projects management. As a French-born Geographer and holding a Master’s degree in Geopolitics from the Sorbonne University, Flora has always had a strong interest in water issues (strategic, environmental, social…), and how they directly impact human relationship to the territory/land they live on. She has extensive experience in international stakeholders’ engagement (public and private), science diplomacy and communication, event and project management. She has developed technical expertise in the use of Earth observation in support of global Agendas (e.g. UNSDGs), with a focus on land cover and water monitoring. Drawing on her >10 year international experience with various organisations, she has been coordinating CSIRO’s contributions in international fora like the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and GEO. For over 8 years in CSIRO, she has also contributed to projects involving Earth observation, remote sensing and spatial data, Data Cube technology, Data access and capacity, and Calibration & Validation, such as GEOGLAM RAPP (GEO initiative on Rangelands and Pasture Productivity), Land Degradation and links to SDG 15.3.1, CEOS COAST, and of course AquaWatch Australia focusing on water monitoring merging in-situ and satellite data to deliver improved and predictive information to decisions makers. As part of her role, she looks at building a Community of Practice for AquaWatch Australia to increase data users, and hopes to leverage the existing GEO AquaWatch extensive community.


Photo of Dr. Erin Urquhart
Dr. Erin Urquhart, NASA

Dr. Erin Urquhart serves as Associate Program Manager for the NASA Earth Science Applied Sciences Water Resource program area. She also leads the NASA PACE Project Applications program at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a member of the Ocean Ecology Laboratory. Her research focuses on utilizing satellite remote sensing data to monitor and model water quality in coastal, estuarine, and inland areas, specifically the identification and monitoring of harmful algal blooms and pathogenic bacteria to promote recreation safety, ensure clean drinking water, support safe and sustainable aquaculture, and protect public health. She engages users and stakeholders to identify their needs and science objectives while exploring innovative and practical applications of satellite Earth observation data. She works at the transdisciplinary boundary of Earth science, social science, and public health using principals of design thinking and participatory research. Previously, Erin was a research fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency as part of the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network (CyAN) project. She received her doctorate and master’s degrees from The Johns Hopkins University in Earth & Planetary Sciences. She also earned a master’s degree in [Environmental] Public Health from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a professional Design Thinking certificate from Cornell University, and a Creative Leadership certificate from IDEOU. 


Amos T. Kabo-bah, Earth Observation Research and Innovation Centre, Ghana

C.K. Anoop, Viswajyothi College of Engineering and Technology, Kerala India

Leigh Fletcher, Ocean Systems, St. Croix United States Virgin Islands 

Rose Osinde Alabaster,Co-founder & Director WEHDI (Water Environment & Human Development Initiative), Geneva Switzerland

Yusuke Kuwayama, VALUABLES Consortium & University of Maryland Baltimore County, Maryland, USA

Philipp Saile, International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC), Germany

Bilqis Hoque, Environment and Population Research Centre, Bangladesh

Samuela Guida, International Water Association

Read our Revised_GEOAquaWatch_Steering_Committee_Terms-of-Reference – October 22 .

Read the Steering Committee Policy/Position/Review Paper Approval Procedure here.

Past Steering Committee Members 2018-2023

We are grateful for the past participation in the inaugural GEO Aqua Watch Steering Committee of these distinguished Members:

Guido Schmidt, EIP Water, Madrid Spain


Laurence Carvalho, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Norway (past Chair 2020-2021)



Ghada-El-Serafy, Deltares, Netherlands (past Chair 2019-2020)

Sarantuyaa Zandaryaa, UNESCO, Paris France

Dwane Young, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, USA