Professor David Lamb

McClymont Distinguished Professor - School of Science & Technology; Precision Agriculture Research Group

David Lamb

Phone: +61 2 6773 3565



McClymont Distinguished Professor (Research) of the University of New England
Science Director, CRC for Spatial Information
Leader, Precision Agriculture Research Group (UNE PARG)

David is a physicist whose research interests include applied optics and precision agriculture. His applied optics work covers the development and application of optical sensors, including optical fibre sensors for environmental, chemical, physical and biophysical sensing. Precision agriculture is concerned with measuring and managing within-field spatial variability in biophysical attributes in agricultural fields to optimise production. He has been working in the area of precision agriculture since the early nineties- initially building and testing a number of airborne imaging systems for agricultural applications and now extends his work to cover proximal (nearby) optical and electromagnetic sensors (for example active optical plant canopy sensors and electromagnetic induction soil sensors). David leads the University of New England's SMART Farm project ( and the Precision Agriculture Research Group (UNE-PARG; a group engaged in development and application of new technologies and processes in support of precision agriculture. The PARG's projects currently span grains, beef and sheep as well as intensive horticultural agricultural systems. David is a Science Director in the CRC for Spatial Information ( and leads numerous large, multi-disciplinary, multi-organisation projects including “Biomass Business I” ( and “Biomass Business II” ( David currently serves as Australian representative for the International Society for Precision Agriculture.


BSc (Hons), PhD (NE)


Senior Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (SMIEEE)
Foundation Member, Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI)
Member and Australian Representative, International Society of Precision Agriculture
Member, Australian Institute of Physics (MAIP)
Member, Institute of Physics (UK) (MInstPhys)
Member, Australian Society of Viticulture & Oenology (ASVO)
Member, International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS)
Member, Southern Precision Agriculture Association (SPAA)

Teaching Areas

  • Physics
  • Remote sensing
  • Precision Agriculture

Research Interests

Selected Grants (career total $17.1M)

Date of fundingGrant TitleFunding BodyGrant Amount
2015-2018Multi-scale monitoring tools for managing Australian tree crops- Industry meets innovationHorticulture Innovation Australia and Commonwealth Department of Agriculture Rural R&D for Profit$7,542,147
2014-2017UAV automated surveillance of in-field hotspots for improved managementQueensland Government – Science and Innovation Grant (Accelerate Fellowship; Mid-Career)$300,000
2104-2016Developing remote sensing as an industry wide yield forecasting, nitrogen mapping and research aid.Sugar Research Australia (SRA)$360,661
2013-2017Biomass Business II - Tools for Real time biomass estimation in pasturesCooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information$816,680
2013-2015Real time monitoring of pastures using NBN platformsNSW Strategic Science, Science Leverage Fund, NSW Dept Trade & Investment$194,868
2013-2017Optimum NLincoln Agritech Ltd, New Zealand



2012-16CSIRO Agreement Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network TERN Services Agreement for Postdoctoral Research Fellow A11/2107CSERO/TERN$507,277
2010-2014Biomass BusinessCRC Spatial Information 2$1,872,317
2009-2012DPI021-Remote Sensing-based Precision Agriculture tools for the sugar industrySugar Research Australia (SRA)$399,681


Fifteen Selected publications (out of a career total of 101 peer reviewed scientific publications)

Rahman, M.M., Lamb, D.W. and Stanley, J.N. (2015) The impact of solar illumination angle when using active opticalsensing of NDVI to infer fAPAR in a pasture canopy.  Agriculture and Forest Meteorology. 202:39-43

Lamb, D.W., Schneider, D.A. and Stanley, J.N. (2014) Combination active optical and passive thermal infrared sensor for low-level airborne crop sensing. Precision Agriculture. 15:523-531.

Falzon, G., Trotter, M.G., Schneider, D. and Lamb, D.W. (2013), Correlating movement patterns of merino sheep to faecal egg counts using global positioning system tracking collars and functional data analysis Small Ruminant Research, 111: 171– 174.

Holland, K.H., Lamb, D.W. and Schepers, J.S. (2012), Radiometry of Proximal Active Optical Sensors (AOS) for Agricultural Sensing, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 5 (6): 1793-1802.

Lamb, D.W., Schneider D.A., Trotter, M.G., Schaefer, M.T. and Yule I.J. (2011),Extended-altitude, aerial mapping of crop NDVI using an active optical sensor: A case study using a RaptorTM sensor over Wheat Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 77: 69-73.

Lamb, D.W., Boerkamp, M. and Lye, P.G. (2010) A guided-mode refraction model for optical fiber sensing of surface crystal growth. Optics Letters 35 (21): 3625-27

Lamb, D.W., Trotter, M.G. and Schneider D.A. (2009), Ultra low-level airborne (ULLA) sensing of crop canopy reflectance: A case study using a CropCircleTM sensor Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 69: 86-91.

Lamb, D.W. (2009) Electrically-heated cables protect vines from frost damage at early flowering. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. 15: 79-84.

Lamb D.W., Frazier P. and Adams P. (2008), Improving pathways to adoption: Putting the right P's in precision agriculture Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 61 (1):4-9.

Lamb D. W. and Hooper A. (2006) A novel laser-optical fiber Bragg grating anemometer for measuring gas flows: Application to measuring the electric wind Applied Optics Letters, 31 1035-1037.

Lamb D.W., Mitchell A. and Hyde G. (2005), Vineyard trellising comprising steel posts distorts data from EM soil surveys Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 11: 24-32.

Lamb, D.W., Bunganaen, Y., Louis, J., Woolsey, G.A., Oliver, R. and White, G. (2004) FEFA- an optical fibre technique for measuring water colour in turbid samples.  Freshwater & Marine Research. 55: 533-543.

Lamb D.W., Weedon M.M. and Bramley R.G.V. (2004), Using remote sensing to predict grape phenolics and colour at harvest in a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard: timing observations against vine phenology and optimising image resolution, Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 10: 46-54.

Lamb D.W., Steyn-Ross M., Schaare P., Hanna M., Silvester W. and Steyn-Ross A. (2002) Estimating leaf nitrogen concentration in ryegrass (Lolium spp.) pasture using the chlorophyll red-edge: Theoretical modelling and experimental observations International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23 (18): 3619-3648.

Lamb D. W. (2000), The use of qualitative airborne multispectral imaging for managing agricultural crops- A case study in south eastern Australia, Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 40 (5): 725-738.

Further Information

Full publication list on Scopus

Full and detailed curriculum vitae