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  • Where to begin with mapping the planet’s coral reefs?

Where to begin with mapping the planet’s coral reefs?

  • 24 Nov 2020
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Virtual lecture via Zoom
  • 47


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RGSQ Lecture Series

Dr Emma Kennedy, University of Queensland

Advances in satellite imaging, processing power, analytical abilities and knowledge of coral reefs has finally made the goal of mapping the planet’s coral reefs achievable. Despite several attempts to capture the diversity and distribution of shallow water reefs since the 1800s, to date no reef map exists that offers complete global coverage at such a high level of geo-ecological detail. CubeSat imagery and cloud-based processing are being used by UQ's Remote Sensing Research Centre and collaborators to deliver state-of-the-art spatial products to support coral reef science, monitoring, management and conservation. In this presentation, Dr Emma Kennedy will introduce the who, what, how and why of mapping the planet’s coral reefs from space.

Dr Emma Kennedy is a coral reef ecologist and Research Fellow at the Remote Sensing Research Centre, University of Queensland. Her diverse research portfolio has included several high-profile collaborative projects, which have included monitoring the effects of climate change on reef communities; “listening” to coral reefs using acoustic sensors to assess reef health; using artificial intelligence to scale underwater monitoring capabilities, and investigating how a tiny pink seaweed might be the key to recovery of the Great Barrier Reef.

Emma currently works full-time on the Allen Coral Atlas reef mapping project as a spatial ecologist, supporting a cross-disciplinary team creating the first ever complete global habitat map of coral reefs. The project brings together remote sensing and mapping specialists at UQ (led by Dr Chris Roelfsema and Prof Stuart Phinn) with coral reef ecologists, geomorphologists and conservation agencies in an unprecedented collaborative effort. As well as making the maps generated publically accessible and user friendly, it is hoped that Atlas' online home will be a hub for existing oceanographic data and a repository for future coral reef data.

Please note: This will be a virtual lecture delivered via Zoom. The lecture link will be emailed to all registrants closer to the lecture date.

If you have any questions, please email us at

The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Ltd
Gregory Place, Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill Qld 4000
Tel 07 3368 2066
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