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Researcher biography

Research interest: Monitoring ecosystem health of coral reefs and seagrass habitats, integrating field and remote sensing image datasets, calibrating and validating of remotely sensed imagery in coastal environments, and the developing cost-effective benthic habitat mapping approaches. He has developed unique field methods for the calibration and validation of high/low spatial resolution, multi-/hyper-spectral airborne and satellite imagery in combination with object based image analysis approaches. These methods have been adopted as standard practice in a number of resource management agencies and research institutes around the world.

Current projects: Principal investigator on three major coral reef habitat mapping projects:

1) 3D GBR Habitat Mapping Project: Developing and implementing an approach to map for the first time the geomorphic zonation, bottom type and predicted coral type habitat for every single reef over the full extent of the Great Barrier Reef, currently these maps do not exist to that level of detail funded through Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

2) Global habitat mapping project Developing and implementing the validation and global habitat mapping component of the Allen Coral Atlas which aims to create maps of all coral reefs globally and develop a monitoring system, in partnership with Paul G. Allen Vulcan Philanthropies; Planet; the Arizona State University and the National Geographic Society.

3) Heron Reef Long term monitoring of benthic composition. Since 2002, annual photoquadrate surveys are being collected at various site around Heron Island Research Station. The study was initiated to develop remote sensing mapping approaches and assess coral composition over time. Benthic and geomorphic maps, photo quadrates, spectral reflectance and field data are accessible online for Heron Reef.

Other projects: Advisor for Reef Cloud Machine learning and reporting platform by Australian Institute of Marine Science and Coordinated Global Research Assessment of Seagrass System (C-GRASS), co-working group lead best practice.

Current position: Senior Research fellow teaching remote sensing courses, co-director of the Remote Sensing Research Centre https://www.rsrc.org.au/coastal-mapping-and-monitoring.

Capacity building: teaching in under and post graduate courses; supervision of post-graduate students, national and international workshops/courses; and development of remote sensing toolkit https://www.rsrc.org.au/rstoolkit. Trainer in national and international workshops and online courses in coral reef remote sensing for Allen Coral Atlas and TNC

Citizen science: Integrated in his research and as volunteer he is a strong supporter of citizen science based projects, which he represents as a trainer, organiser and scientific advisor with www.reefcheckaustralia.org/, www.coralwatch.org, www.citizensgbr.org and http://www.unidive.org/unidive-projects/ .

Areas of research