Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

Tarmo K Remmel

Tarmo K Remmel

Associate Professor


PhD Geography, University of Toronto
MSc Forestry and Forest Environment, Lakehead University
BES Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo

Research Keywords

Geography; Forestry; Remote Sensing; Geographic Information System; Spatial Pattern Analysis; Geomatics.

Graduate Supervision

I supervise students in the graduate program in Geography

Tarmo Remmel

Contact Information

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Office No N423, Ross Building

416 736 2100 (ext 22496)


Research Interests

Shape and pattern measurement, comparison, and analysis are central to my research and is spurred by the desire to understand boreal forest disturbance patterns, their residual vegetation structures, and regeneration processes. I focus on developing theoretical approaches and tools for quantifying and comparing 2D shapes and patterns and extend those to the segmentation of 3D features into morphological classes. My work contributes to the collection of tools that characterize planar shape through the tracking of specific geometric measurements along gradients of iterative inward step-wise shrinking of polygons, to assessing the porosity of raster shapes to infer fragmentation, compaction, and shape complexity.

Recently I developed a method for characterizing planar raster binary shapes by recording hyper-local configurations and then accumulating information into empirical distributions of known configuration elements. These concepts have evolved to data in the 3D domain of voxels, and my most recent work that automatically performs mathematical morphological segmentation of features. My work in this area strives to develop new tools and to disseminate them openly to support better scientific analysis of data. Intertwined in all of this work is the desire to quantify and understand uncertainty, accuracy, and the sensitivity of measurements.

Research Projects

2021-2026 Assessing forest disturbance and recovery with spatial and temporal structural morphology (NSERC Discovery Grant)

2018-2024 Developing, updating, and testing a comprehensive spatial database of fire, harvesting, and road disturbances in the boreal forest in Ontario (joint project with the Ontario Forest Research Institute).

2019-2022 Hyper-local configuration elements for characterizing, comparing, and assessing landscape spatial patterns.

Research Output

Remmel, T.K. and A.H. Perera (eds.). 2017. Mapping forest landscapes. New York: Springer-Verlag. 326 p.

Remmel, T.K. and S.W. Mitchell. 2021. Landscape pattern analysis. In Francis, R.A., J.D.A. Millington, G.L.W. Perry, and E.S. Minor (eds.). The Routledge handbook on landscape ecology. London: Taylor and Francis. 544 p.

Youdelis, M. D. Douhaibi, D. Holterman, K. Paudel, V. Preston, T.K. Remmel, E. Lunstrum, and J. Mensah. 2021. Out of Bounds: The BHER bones of teaching geography across borders. pp. 115-131. In Giles, W. and L. Miller (eds.). Borderless Higher Education for Refugees: Lessons from the Dadaab Refugee Camps. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. 225 p.          

Horn, L.C., T.K. Remmel, and B.J.M. Stutchbury. 2021. Weak evidence of carry-over effects of overwinter climate and habitat productivity on spring passage of migratory songbirds at a northern stopover site in Ontario. Ornithological Applications 123:1-16. DOI: 10.1093/ornithapp/duab012

Remmel, T.K. and H. Moghaddam. 2020. Assessing morphological change in Canadian boreal forests.        International Journal of Geoinformatics 16(3):49-59.

Remmel, T.K. 2020. Distributions of hyper-local configuration elements to characterize, compare, and assess landscape-level spatial patterns. Entropy 22(4):420. DOI: 10.3390/e22040420

Remmel, T.K. 2018. An incremental and philosophically different approach to measuring raster patch porosity. Sustainability 10:3413. DOI:10.3390/su10103413

Remmel, T.K. 2020. ShapePattern: a toolbox for characterizing and comparing polygon shape. (Becoming the new consolidated container of PatternClass, ShapePattern and more). Version 2.1.0 (as of 27 April 2020) The Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN). GPL-3 (

Ouellette, M., T.K. Remmel, and A.H. Perera. 2020. A spatial database of historical wildfire and timber      harvest in the boreal Area of the Undertaking of Ontario: The methodological framework. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Science and Research Branch, Peterborough, ON. Science and Research Technical Report TR-37. 31 p + appendix.

Recognition & Awards

  • Dean's Service Award, Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change


Course CodeTitle
Winter 2021 EU/GEOG2340Introduction to Geomatics
EU/SC GEOG 3440Remote Sensing for Earth Observation
EU/SC GEOG 4440Processing and Analysis of Earth Observation Data