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Researcher biography

Research interest: Monitoring ecosystem health of coral reefs and seagrass habitats, integrating field and remote sensing image datasets, and the developing applied cost-effective mapping and monitoring approaches. Developed approaches have been adopted as standard practice globally, making a difference in conservation of these valuable habitats. The long term monitoring studies at Heron and Moreton Bay formed the basis for the development of mapping and monitoring over time and space at local to global scale.

Current projects:

1) Long term monitoring of benthic composition at Heron Reef (2002-ongoing). Annual photoquadrate surveys are being collected at Heron Reef, Southern Great Barrier Reef. Initiated to develop remote sensing mapping approaches and assess coral composition over time. The resulting Maps, photo quadrate and benthic data, spectral reflectance are accessible online.

2) Long term monitoring of seagrass composition and abundance in Moreton bay Marine Park (2000-ongoing). For Eastern Banks it included monitoring seagrass species, cover and biomass 15x times since 2004 using photoquadrate survey and satelite imagery and for Moreton Bay it included seagrass extent and cover (2004, 2009, 2015, 2021, 2022), all data accessible via Moreton Bay Research Station.

3) Smart Sat CRC Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Seagrass and Coral Reefs 2023-2027. Collaborative effort with CSIRO, Adelaide University, DES Adelaide Coastal Waters.

4) 3D GBR Habitat Mapping Project 2015 - ongoing: Mapping and monitoring geomorphic zonation, bottom type and predicted coral type habitat for every Great Barrier Reef within the Marine Park.

5) Global habitat mapping project 2019-2023 Developed and implemention of global habitat mapping as part of the Allen Coral Atlas resulting in extent, geomorphic and benthic maps for reefs globally, funded through with Vulcan Philanthropies in partnership with; Planet; the Arizona State University and the National Geographic Society.

Other projects: Advisor for Reef Cloud Australian Institute of Marine Science and Coordinated Global Research Assessment of Seagrass System (C-GRASS).

Current position: Associate Professior in Marine Remote Sensing. Academic Director Heron Island Research Station and affiliated researchers with Centre for Marine Science and Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science

Capacity building: under/post graduate courses; Msc/PhD supervision, workshops/courses; Remote Sensing Educational Toolkit, and online courses (e.g. TNC)

Citizen science: Strong supporter of citizen science based projects, as trainer, organiser and advisor for Reef Check Australia, CoralWatch, Great Reef Census and UniDive.