Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Earth Science & Engineering

Research Postgraduate



m.prasow-emond22 Website




2.49JRoyal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





I am a second-year PhD student funded by Imperial's President PhD Scholarship. My project is aligned with the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Program at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. I received a BSc degree in Physics and a MSc degree in Astrophysics at the Université de Montréal. I contributed to many publications in astronomy which can be found hereI am passionate about research, teaching, coding, and outreach, topped by a deep desire for social justice (namely neurodiversity, feminism, ecology, and mental health).

My PhD Project

Impacts of Climate Change on Small Island Nations: A Data Science Framework using Satellite Imagery and Observational Time Series

Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

comprise a group of 58 nations identified by the United Nations as facing unique sustainability challenges. These challenges include high exposure to climate change, lack of data, and limited resources. The effects of climate change are already observed in SIDS, notably an increase in the magnitude and frequency of natural disasters, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, sea-level rise, and coastal erosion. The coastal zone is considered to be the main economic, environmental, and cultural resource of SIDS, making them particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. This project focuses on quantifying and disentangling coastal changes, including erosion, accretion and coastline stability. Existing literature lacks a comprehensive understanding of the patterns of coastal changes, as well as the main anthropogenic and environmental drivers involved. We address this research gap by quantifying the challenges that SIDS encounter, with a particular emphasis on coastal changes.

The approach is data-driven, relying on observational time series extracted from satellite imagery, in situ measurements, and open-access databases. We have developed a robust method based on image segmentation to extract the island's shape over time, enabling us to illustrate the island's dynamics and obtain reliable time series of the coastline position.

 The main drivers of coastal changes are then identified and quantified using time series analysis methods, including causal inference and discovery methods, for SIDS worldwide. We place a specific focus on the Maldives (Indian Ocean) due to its low elevation and high human activity. Additionally, the methodology expands to investigate a spectrum of issues, including the impacts of human activities (e.g., land reclamation, sand mining, shoreline armouring) on the natural responses of coastlines, as well as the effects of confounding factors or common drivers (e.g., Indian monsoon, tropical cyclones, and El Niño/Southern Oscillation). The ultimate goal is to develop a spatiotemporal variable coastline vulnerability index by integrating socioeconomic and environmental time series data, facilitating the assessment of environmental policies in SIDS.



  • PhD - Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London (2022-present)
  • MSc - Physics, Université de Montréal (2020-2022)
  • BSc - Physics, Université de Montréal (2017-2020)

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Prasow-Emond M, Hlavacek-Larrondo J, Fogarty K, et al., 2022, The first high-contrast images of X-ray binaries: detection of candidate companions in the gamma cas analog RX J1744.7-2713, Astronomical Journal, Vol:164, ISSN:0004-6256, Pages:1-9

Rhea CL, Rousseau-Nepton L, Prunet S, et al., 2021, A Machine-learning Approach to Integral Field Unit Spectroscopy Observations. III. Disentangling Multiple Components in H ii Regions, Astrophysical Journal, Vol:923, ISSN:0004-637X

Rhea C, Rousseau-Nepton L, Prunet S, et al., 2021, A Machine-learning Approach to Integral Field Unit Spectroscopy Observations. II. H ii Region Line Ratios, Astrophysical Journal, Vol:910, ISSN:0004-637X

Richard-Laferriere A, Hlavacek-Larrondo J, Nemmen RS, et al., 2020, On the relation between mini-halos and AGN feedback in clusters of galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol:499, ISSN:0035-8711, Pages:2934-2958

Prasow-Emond M, Hlavacek-Larrondo J, Rhea CL, et al., 2020, A Multiwavelength Study of the Cool Core Cluster MACS J1447.4+0827, Astronomical Journal, Vol:160, ISSN:0004-6256

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