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Dr Sofanit Girma Araya

Sofanit Girma Araya
Postdoctoral Fellow
School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

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Dr Sofanit Girma Araya

Sofanit did her PhD in spatial information sciences at  School of Biological Sciences, The University of Adelaide. Her PhD thesis is titled: 

"Digital soil mapping for sustainable agricultural productivity"

The understanding of spatial and temporal yield variability is the key for better management of agricultural fields. The crop yield in the arid and semi-arid environment is highly dependent on the water availability. Vegetation condition is a good indicator of the soil and its interaction with the environmental factors such as rainfall. Time series analysis of MODIS imagery has been widely used for various agricultural related studies such as crop identification and yield estimation. However, it hasn't been widely used for the understanding of the soil conditions underneath.

The main focus of her PhD project was to study the soil condition (Water Holding Capacity) in terms of agricultural productivity using time series spatial information, which require extensive manipulation and analysis of multi-temporal vegetation index data. As part of the project a software package, "CropPhenology" has designed to extract crop's growth stage and condition from vegetation dynamics data in R computing environment.

The CropPhenology software package is desinged as a tool for analysing multi temporal remote sensing imagery. It is a , a free, easy to use package designed in the R environment that enables flexibility and interoperability that allows users to progress from downloading remote sensing images to crop phenology analysis and visualisation with only minor processing steps. It is an inovative research outcome for promoting multi temporal remote sensing application in  agranomic and vegetation related resaerch works. 

CropPhenology package is available at :, user manuals and other additional informationis available at

Sofanit is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the school of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering.


Date Institution name Country Title
2018 University of Adelaide, Adelaide Australia PhD
2007 University of Twente, Enschede Netherlands MSc
1998 Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa Ethiopia BSc


Year Citation
2018 Araya, S., Ostendorf, B., Lyle, G., & Lewis, M. (2018). CropPhenology: An R package for extracting crop phenology from time series remotely sensed vegetation index imagery. Ecological Informatics, 46, 45-56.
2017 Araya, S., Ostendorf, B., Lyle, G., & Lewis, M. (2017). Remote Sensing Derived Phenological Metrics to Assess the Spatio-Temporal Growth Variability in Cropping Fields. Advances in Remote Sensing, 06(03), 212-228.
2016 Araya, S., Lyle, G., Lewis, M., & Ostendorf, B. (2016). Phenologic metrics derived from MODIS NDVI as indicators for Plant Available Water-holding Capacity. Ecological Indicators, 60, 1263-1272.
DOI Scopus4 WoS2

Conference Papers

The University of Adelaide Divisional Scholarship

Teaching Interest - Spatial information, GIS and remote sensing for environmental management

I have experience

  • Demonstrating GIS for Agriculture and Environmental Management subjects at the University of Adelaide.
  • Teaching GIS and map preparation and presentation courses at TAFESA


Date Role Membership Country
2011 - ongoing Member SSSI Australia
Postdoctoral Fellow
North Terrace
Engineering North Building, floor 1
Room Number
1 25
Org Unit
School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering