Contact Dr Joanna Zawadzka

Areas of expertise

  • Carbon, Climate and Risk
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Monitoring and Environmental Informatics
  • Natural Capital
  • Soil
  • Soil Resources


Dr Joanna Zawadzka is a geospatial scientist specialising in applications of data science techniques in natural capital mapping and modelling. In her role as a Research Fellow she has completed numerous research projects concerning spatially-explicit ecosystem services assessments as well as digital soil mapping and assessment. Her research interests evolve around developing methods for smart space allocation supporting environmentally sound planning decisions at various spatial scales. 

Over her extensive career at Cranfield University Joanna has contributed to ecosystem services assessment for the Northern Norwich Distributor Road, Natural Capital assessment for the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, and ecosystem services assessments for nature based solutions in water treatment sector.  She has also contributed to the creation of soil resilience map for Great Britain, and soil health and quality map for England and Wales as well as soil map at 1:250,000 mapping scale for the Republic of Ireland. Through her PhD project, has also gained experience in the assessment of urban heat mitigation capacity of green infrastructure.

Joanna's MSc degree is linked to Interdisciplinary Studies of Environmental Protection and Gegraphical Information Management studied jointly at Warsaw University of Life Sciences and Cranfield University. She also holds a PhD degree awarded by Cranfield University in urban heat mitigation through adequate spatial configuration of urban form.

Current activities

Joanna Zawadzka has a strong interest in spatial data analysis in the context of the environmental mapping and modelling. She uses various GIS, remote sensing, and machine learning methods to extract, analyse, and interpret data on natural environment, contributing to a variety of research and commercial projects. 

Joanna's recent activities include:

  • Assessment of carbon storage and sequestration potential for all Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty located in England
  • Assessment of carbon sequestration potential for the MoD estate
  • Automated detection of flood damage from UAV imagery using machine learning methods
  • Spatially-explicit assessments of ecosystem services and natural capital for major road infrastructure developments as well as nature based solutions for water and wastewater treatment
  • Investigating and mapping soil health, quality and resilience across England and Wales
  • Detecting patterns of spatial configuration of urban form conducive to heat mitigation at local scales
  • Application of data-mining techniques for understanding water purification processes in artificial wetlands located within the South Florida Water Management District;
  • Researching carbon sequestration in soil and biomass under various types of vegetation including energy crops;
  • Teaching digital terrain analysis and digital soil mapping at the Geographical Information Management MSc course.


  • Natural England (NE)
  • Ministry of Defense (MoD)
  • Innovate UK
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Jacobs
  • Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
  • EU Horizon 2020
  • EU Framework 7
  • Teagasc - Irish Environmental Protection Agency
  • ISRIC - World Soil Information
  • Joint Research Centre (Ispra)


Articles In Journals

Conference Papers


  • Simo I, Constanje R, Fealy R, Hallett SH, Hannam J, Holden N, Jahns G, Jones B, Massey P, Mayr T, McDonald E, Reidy B, Schulte R, Sills P, Spaargaren O, Zawadka J & Creamer RE (2014) Mapping Soils in Ireland. In: GlobalSoilMap: Basis of the global spatial soil information system, CRC Press.
  • Mayr T, Rivas Casado M, Bellamy P, Palmer R, Zawadzka J & Corstanje R (2010) Two methods for using legacy data in digital soil mapping. In: Digital soil mapping: bridging research, environmental application, and operation. Boettinger JL, Howell DW, Moore AC, Hartemink AE, Kienast-Brown S (ed.), Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer, p. 191-202.