Playing with drones and fire on coal mine rehabilitation


Mine sites in Queensland are required to rehabilitate their final landforms to be safe, stable and sustainable. Traditionally, rehabilitation has been assessed in the field using transects, but these measurements are not necessarily representative of a whole site. Information from drone derived data can be used to map rehabilitation success and provide evidence of a site’s suitability to support a final land use. It is also likely that rehabilitated landforms need to have the ability to withstand future environmental challenges, such as fire and drought. The risk that fire poses to mine rehabilitation is particularly relevant given predictions of a drier, hotter climate; more prone to extreme fire events and longer fire seasons. In this talk I explore the use of drones to produce comprehensive monitoring datasets and to measure the responses of rehabilitated vegetation communities to experimental fires.


Peter is an ecologist with experience in a range of countries and ecosystems. Over the last two decades he has worked on landscape forest restoration, mining impacts and revegetation techniques in Australia, SE Asia and Africa. He leads the Ecosystem Assessment, Restoration and Resilience group at the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation at The University of Queensland. Peter’s research interests include the development of novel ecosystems, the utility of reference sites for measuring rehabilitation success and the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles to quantify issues of scale.