The interactions of land, sea and human development

Where the land meets the sea, human development is exceptionally diverse and adaptive. With 90 per cent of the Australian population living within 50 kilometres of the coastline, and industries such as fishing supporting the livelihoods of 12 per cent of the world’s population, it’s vital that we understand how humans can interact sustainably with marine resources.

Researching coastal environments is a School speciality. We study coastal processes, measure and monitor environmental alterations, and contribute our knowledge and technologies to the development of informed land use and marine management policies.

From locations such as Moreton Bay, Hervey Bay, Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Carpentaria, Indonesia and Vietnam, we examine biogeochemical signatures associated with human development in estuarine regions.  We investigate past and present environmental changes on islands and apply ecosystem-scale satellite data to biophysical oceanography. Earth observation data, high-tech remote sensing and advanced geographic information systems also enable our researchers to monitor coastal change, with a particular concern for mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds.