Nicholas Drake
  • Phone82798
  • WC2R 2LS

    United Kingdom

  • 5085

Personal profile

Research interests

Remote sensing; GIS; semi-arid and arid zone geomorphology and geoarchaeology; land degradation and soil erosion; the Sahara Desert, India and Spain.

Research interests (short)

Remote sensing; GIS; semi-arid and arid zone geomorphology and geoarchaeology.

Biographical details

Nick Drake obtained his BSc (Honours) in Environmental Science at Plymouth Polytechnic in 1983 and his Master of Applied Science in Geochemical Exploration from the University of New South Wales in 1986.

From 1986 to 1992 Nick worked as a research fellow conducting remote sensing research at the Department of Geography, Reading University. He worked on the development of improved algorithms for image classification and the characterisation of desert surfaces for geomorphological mapping using remote sensing. During this time he completed a part-time PhD entitled ‘Mapping and monitoring of surface cover types and processes in southern Tunisia using remote sensing’.

Nick joined King's Department of Geography in 1992, was made Reader in 2000 and a Professor in 2013. He has continued to develop his interests in theoretical and practical aspects of remote sensing while broadening his interests into geographical information systems and spatial modelling.

During the last few years Nick's interests have focussed on applying his expertise to arid lands and, in particular, the Sahara Desert. He is the leader of the Sahara Megalakes Project, an international project that involves nine universities and coordinates research on giant ancient lakes in Chad, Libya and Tunisia. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Arid Environments, Origini (Journal of Prehistory and Protohistory of Ancient Civilizations) and the Journal of Geology & Geosciences.

Nick has published 65 single and joint authored journal articles, 22 book chapters, 31 published conference proceedings and was co-editor of Spatial Modelling of the Terrestrial Environment published by Wiley in 2004. He is a member of:

  • the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetric Society
  • the Royal Geographical Society
  • the British Society for Geomorphology.

Nick has been most active in the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetric Society where he has organised a number of sessions for annual conferences, was invited to become a member of the organisation committee of their Special Interest Group in Modelling and Advanced Techniques in 1997, and was the group convenor from 1999 to 2004.

Nick now plays a prominent role in the Society for Libyan Studies. Between 2002 and 2006 he was a council member, from 2004 to the present has been on the society’s publications committee and in 2008 he was appointed the society’s Honorary Secretary.

Nick has played an active role in departmental, King's and University of London administration. He joined the University of London Subject Area Board (SAB) for Mathematical and Physical Sciences in 1998. He was invited to be Deputy Chair in 2004. In 2005 he was appointed to the University of London Senate and became the chairman of the SAB in 2006

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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