Since 2000 the Remote Sensing Research Centre has focused on developing approaches to map and monitor the Heron Reef and Capricorn Bunker Group. The reef habitats are monitored at various hierarchical spatial scales using integrated remote sensing and field data. These spatial scales are: Reef, Reef Type, Geomorphic, Benthic Community and Patch Reef Scale. High spatial resolution satellite imagery and georeferenced photo transects have been acquired annually since 2002.

This projects focus is to develop a time series of benthic habitat maps. The results from the Capricorn Bunker group have been used for mapping and monitoring coral reefs throughout the Asia Pacific.


Short documentary on the field component of the coral reef habitat mapping research, produced by Djoy Roelfsema with footage from: Dr. Javier Leon & Dr. Karen Joyce (drones), Dr. Chris Roelfsema (underwater) and Djoy Roelfsema (above and underwater). Production for UQ School of Earth and Environmental Science


benthic surveys


Project Details


  • Heron Island, Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia
  • Indonesia
  • Solomons
  • Philippines
  • Fiji
  • Marshall Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Belize

People: Chris Roelfsema (PI), Stuart Phinn, Eva Kovacs, Denise Perez, Rodney Borrego, Javier Leon, Emily Shaw, Mitchell Lyons, Megan Saunders, and Robert Canto

Funding: Various.

Timeframe: 2001-