Dr Steven Reece

Head of Machine Learning Research and Data Science, Oxford Sustainable Finance Group


Steve is head of the Machine Learning Research and Data Science cluster in the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group. His team exploits and further develops state-of-the-art machine learning for mapping and characterising assets world-wide that exhibit both environmental and financial risk. Current work is focussed on creating asset level datasets of the world's most polluting industries using remote sensing and unstructured text reports.

Prior to joining SSEE in November 2021, Steve was simultaneously a Departmental Research Fellow in machine learning in the Engineering Science Department, Oxford University, a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute and an EPSRC funded Researcher in Residence at the Satellite Applications Catapult. He led a research group in disaster response and environmental protection, working at the intersection of Bayesian and deep learning for scalable human-agent computation, intelligent crowd-sourced data labelling, interpretable machine learning, concept formation and heterogeneous data fusion.

He has over 25 years research and consultancy experience in machine learning, over 70 publications in the field and also patents in defence and commercial applications. His methods have been applied to a diverse range of problems including fault correction of NASA astrophysics data, multi-robot terrain mapping and anomaly detection, social network analysis, sensor modelling and big data economics. Steve has collaborated closely with disaster response organisations and has developed and deployed satellite imagery analysis tools to provide the UN, FEMA and NGOs with damage situation maps immediately following natural disasters. His recent collaborations have been with hydrologists here in the School of Geography on rainfall-runoff modelling in the UK, with hydro-meteorological commercial organisations on flood impact in India, with commercial maritime disaster prevention organisations on pollution source identification, with the Brazilian National Audit Office on tailings dam disaster prevention and illegal mining and with Save the Elephants on human-animal conflict.

Steve received his DPhil from the Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University, the Diploma in Computer Science and Part III of the Mathematics Tripos from Cambridge University and a BSc in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Liverpool.