International global reef project maps now online


The most up-to-date global satellite images of the world’s coral reefs are now online, thanks to a collaboration between Microsoft’s late co-founder, Paul G. Allen, and a team of international partners including The University of Queensland.

The satellite images will be transformed into maps in the Allen Coral Atlas, an online mapping and monitoring project – to be completed in 2020 – that will show the composition and structure of the world’s coral reefs.

Dr Chris Roelfsema and Professor Stuart Phinn, from UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Remote Sensing Research Centre, lead the mapping efforts globally, and have completed example maps for five important reefs at different locations around the world.

Unprecedented Global Image of Coral Reefs from Allen Coral Atlas Released

SEATTLE, Oct. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- A year ago, the late Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen challenged his team at Paul G. Allen Philanthropies to fill the most significant data gaps that prevent efficient and effective coral conservation. Today, Paul G. Allen Philanthropies and a consortium of partners unveiled the Allen Coral Atlas, a pioneering effort that uses high resolution satellite imagery and advanced analytics to map and monitor the world's coral reefs in unprecedented detail. At launch, the Allen Coral Atlas offers the highest-resolution, up-to-date global image of the world's coral reefs ever captured, and the first detailed maps showing the composition and structure of five important reefs located throughout the world.

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Dr Ralph Trancoso is the Recipient of the 2017 Ecohydrology Early Career Award

Congratulations!! to Dr Ralph Trancoso who has been awarded the 2017 Ecohydrology Early Career Award for his paper “Regional variation in streamflow drivers across a continental climatic gradient” (Ecohydrology. 2017;10:e1816.

This is a significant award and it recognises Ralph's outstanding work as first author within 6 years of completing his PhD (2016).

The official announcement will be at the European Geosciences Unionn General Assembly in Vienna on Tuesday the 10th of April at the Wiley stand.

Trancoso R, Phinn S, McVicar TR, Larsen JR, McAlpine CA. (2017) Regional variation in streamflow drivers across a continental climatic gradient. Ecohydrology. 2017;10:e1816.


Coral Reef and Seagrass Habitat Mapping using Object Based Analysis

Presented by Keith Peterson and Chris Roelfsema

Coral reefs and seagrass habitats are of great importance for local communities living close to them. They provide coastal protection, biodiversity, food resource and nursery ground. In comparison to terrestrial vegetation they are commonly submerged making them challenging to map due to varying water depth and water clarity.

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Sourcing Satellite Imagery for your Research

Whether your study is in based in Australia, other Continents, or Global, there are a variety of datasets to choose from.

Join Professor Stuart Phinn for an overview of sources for imagery and the characteristics of different datasets you could use for your research.

Professor Phinn is the Chair of the Committee that produced the Australian Earth Observation Community Plan – 2026, he teaches remote sensing and directs the Remote Sensing Research Centre at the University, which includes programs to support government agencies across Australia (Joint Remote Sensing Research Program) and enabling coordination across all government, industry and research groups collecting and using EO data (Earth Observation Australia).

Wed 7 Feb 2018, Noon to 1pm

How effective are high-speed surveys when compared to more conventional marine techniques?

University of Queensland researchers have demonstrated that emerging underwater data collection technologies can be as good if not better than conventional methods of marine investigation.

Coral reef scientists from UQ’s Global Change Institute and XL-Catlin Seaview Survey compared their semi-autonomous method for collecting coral reef images with a conventional fixed-frame photographic technique.

UQ PhD candidate Dominic Bryant (SEES & GCI)said comparison between the two techniques revealed there was little difference when it came to determining the condition of coral reefs.

“It shows the growing importance that fully and/or semi-autonomous vehicles will have when it comes to understanding the impacts facing the world’s coral reefs,” Mr Bryant said.


2017 Research Week Awards!


The 2017 UQ Research Week awards was held earlier in the week, 13 Sept, at Customs House in Brisbane.  Nine researchers, two research teams and six research supervisors were acknowledged across three categories – Foundation Research Excellence Awards (FREAs), Partners in Research Excellence Awards (PIREAs), and Awards for Excellence in Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Supervision.  Among the winners was Professor Stuart Phinn for Excellence in HDR Supervision!  A big congratulations to Stuart on a well deserved award!  And it doesn't stop there....

The Joint Remote Sensing Research Program received the Partners in Research Excellence Awards (PIREA) award for science, a recognition of 10+ years of ongoing, successful collaboration between UQ and state government partners!  The award was received by Stuart Phinn (UQ), Dan Tindall (Qld DISITI) and Tim Danaher (NSW OEH).  Congratulations to all who have directly and indirectly contributed to the success of the program!


UPDATE: Habitat Mapping the Great Barrier Reef: Starting with 200 reefs around Cairns and Cooktown

UPDATE: Habitat Mapping the Great Barrier Reef: Starting with 200 reefs around Cairns and Cooktown

The habitat mapping of the Great Barrier Reef, 200 reefs in Cairns Management region, is going full steam ahead!  

The mapping combine’s satellite remote sensing imagery (Landsat) with ecological modelling and mapping rules to create geomorphic zonation (e.g. slope, crest, lagoon), benthic composition (e.g. coral, algae, rock, sand) and coral type maps (e.g. plate, branching, massive corals) and is a collaboration with Marine Spatial Ecology lab, and Engineering at UQ, AIMS, JCU, GBRMPA and EOMAP.

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Sentinel-2 Captures Coral Bleaching of Great Barrier Reef

Scientists observed the bleaching of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef early this year using satellite images. While capturing these events from space has been difficult in the past, Sentinel-2’s frequent revisits and its resolution makes it possible.

The corals of the Great Barrier Reef have now suffered two bleaching events in successive years. Experts are very concerned about the capacity for reef survival under the increased frequency of these global warming-induced events.

Minister Join's Citizen Scientists of UniDive on Flinders Reef

Minister Join's Citizen Scientists of UniDive on Flinders Reef

Environment and National Parks Minister Steven Miles joined reef citizen scientists from UniDive on Saturday, 25 March, who are doing an ecological survey of Flinders Reef near Moreton Island.

The Flinders Reef Ecological Assessment project is being coordinated and managed by UniDive and has been ongoing since June last year, and is due to conclude at the end of this year.  The Queensland government has provided $5,000 in funding to UniDive to help train divers for this project.

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Looking for a continental to global scale earth-observation/spatial-analysis/applied-ecology position?

We are looking for a candidate who will apply novel remote sensing techniques for large area – long time series data, as well as economics and social metrics, to detect abandoned and uncontested lands. Then look at prioritising uncontested lands for conservation based on estimates of ecological restoration and costs.

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Habitat Mapping the Great Barrier Reef: Cairns – Cooktown Management Region

Habitat Mapping the Great Barrier Reef: Cairns – Cooktown Management Region

In December 2016 the Remote Sensing Research Centre was funded to continue in 2017 the development and implementation for a habitat mapping approach for the Great Barrier Reef, for which currently no detailed habitat maps exist. The work follows up on the initial work done in 2015-2016 in the Capricorn Bunker Group and both are funded through the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

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