Justin Marshall • Chief Investigator and Project Leader • Co-author "Coral Reefs and Climate Change"
Since my first reef encounter at the age of 6, I have been fascinated by their biology and in love with their beauty. I absolutely refuse to accept that humans are not capable of preserving this fantastic ecosystem into the future but currently, we are not doing a very good job. One of the reasons for designing the CoralWatch system as it is and the reason for coordinating and helping to write our book is to engage the community in this process. The time for thought and discussion is over and the time for action and tough decisions is here. I am very fortunate to be able to work on reefs every day and spend as much time as I can there. My kids have seen it and they love the vibrance of the place and the animal life. I am now working for them so that, when they get to my age, their children will have the chance to also draw energy and, where necessary, nutrients and livelihood from coral reefs. Our current best estimates tell me that this is unlikely, but the fantastic CoralWatch team and our growing band of volunteers around the world are working hard to prevent their degradation by spreading knowledge and helping to come up with practical solutions. Please join us in this effort. Don’t be swayed by the ignorant, lazy and selfish approach of ‘sceptics’ who apparently do not care for the future of their children or yours, and who grasp at any opportunity deny or distort plain fact. Don’t engage with this band of no-hopers, leave them trailing in your dust and help to secure a future for our planet that includes the beauty and bounty of the coral reef. With your help, we can do this.
Diana Kleine • Project Manager (Education) • Co-author and Designer of “Coral Reefs and Climate Change”
Isn’t it great to have a job where you can show, and teach people about, the amazing underwater world and help to preserve it? Originally a graphic designer and dive instructor, I am now organising the marketing and production of all the education and monitoring materials for CoralWatch, including this new website. A very busy and motivating job! My main aim is to raise awareness and encourage people to get involved in our CoralWatch monitoring program. A lot of people don’t realise that this beautiful underwater environment is rapidly changing and don’t realise the impact their daily life has on ocean life. I hope our new publication “Coral Reefs and Climate Change” will inspire even those who have never seen a reef to get involved.
Monique Grol • Project Manager (Research)
I fell in love with the ocean and everything in it at the age of 11 when I became a Junior Scuba Diver. During my childhood in Aruba (Caribbean) my daily activities after school were diving and snorkelling and it was not surprising that I decided to become a Marine Biologist. My adventures started in remote East Africa as an intern diving on 450 reefs to collect valuable data followed by a 5-year PhD across the Caribbean studying the nursery function of shallow-water habitats for common and commercially important fish species. Since 6 years I work in Australia studying coral reef ecosystems in remote areas such as the Kimberley, Pilbara, Shark Bay and Great Barrier Reef. After all those great experiences and working with many different people and cultures it is now time to get involved in CoralWatch, a citizen science program. We need to create more awareness and engage more and more people in reef conservation. Promoting and conserving our precious world-wide coral reefs to make sure it is still there for future generations is important and it is a great challenge to increase the numbers of people (young, old, divers, farmers, doctors, ministers etc.) that is involved in citizen science.
Krisantini • Indonesia consultant and editor/translator
I began working with the CoralWatch team in 2010 after I was involved in translating and editing of “Coral Reefs and Climate Change” book into Bahasa Indonesia and in liaising with counterparts in Indonesia. My background is Plant Science/Horticulture, I have always loved plants, animals and biodiversity. Getting involved with CoralWatch team has been very inspiring and I have learned new things about ocean life and their close connectivity with life in this planet. I am excited to be involved in educating and raising people’s awareness on the importance of monitoring coral reef health around the world.
Kyra Hay • Project Manager - on maternity leave till March 2016
I have been fascinated with the ocean and all its inhabitants for as long as I can remember. This interest led me to complete a PhD in Marine Science at the University of Queensland. Since then I have worked in diverse locations and roles within the area of coral reef science. Through these experiences, I have developed a keen interest in the education and engagement of the community in marine science. I believe the future of our reefs and oceans is dependent on community wide education. I joined the CoralWatch team on a casual basis in 2014 (while continuing a research position) and am excited to now move into the broader role of Project Manager for CoralWatch. I will be involved in all aspects of the project and will work to develop new workshops and programs for CoralWatch. My personal research focuses on the role of herbivory in marine environments and the ecology of mesophotic (deep) coral reefs.
Angela Dean • Former Project Manager (Research)
I have always loved the ocean and continue to be fascinated by the diversity of life within coral reefs. Over time, I have become increasingly concerned about the negative effects of climate change on our reef ecosystems, and decided I needed to get involved. My role in CoralWatch is to coordinate research and monitoring activities, and to conduct statistical analysis on our global database. And I also help Diana with education and awareness programs. It is wonderful to be working with such a great team on such an important issue.
Dave Logan • Co-author “Coral Reefs and Climate Change” • Former Project Manager
I love everything about the reef - the adventure, beauty, incredible diversity of life and the people you meet there. I will continue to visit and protect reefs until I (or they) fade away. I am the former Project Manager of CoralWatch, now spending more time watching koalas while working as an Environmental Officer at Moreton Bay Regional Council. I was privileged to test the first prototype Coral Health Charts on Heron Island way back when it all began, and again to co-author the new publication "Coral Reefs and Climate Change: The guide for education and awareness" released in 2009. One of my favourite CoralWatch memories is an afternoon spent playing the Coral Recovery game with local kids at Moreton Bay Research Station, trying to restore each coral before mass bleaching turned them all white.
Craig Reid • Principle Author “Coral Reefs and Climate Change”
I began working with the team at CoralWatch in 2005 after I designed the spreadsheets that support the Coral Health Chart. My work since that time has culminated in the production of the book "Coral Reefs and Climate Change". I began writing the book simply to see if I could meet the challenge. After 2 years of researching for the text, my perspectives on the issues of climate change and the fate of coral reefs have shifted. I believe that we have lost that connection between the natural world and ourselves and it is only by visiting these areas that we can begin to understand their beauty and fragility. Whether it is a coral reef or our own national parks, the sheer diversity of life contained within these areas should give us pause to reflect on how we are living our own lives. For it is our actions as individuals and a society, that determine the future of these ecosystems. As an issue, climate change will define our own humanity in the coming decades and should not be left to future generations to fix the problems we have caused and have the capacity to solve. To be honest, we do not have that sort of time. I am hoping that this book can in some small way address the problem scientists seem to face in communicating the size and scale of the problem, while at the same time, present the prospects of a future where solutions are not only possible, but are available to us all, now.
Chris Roelfsema • Author CoralWatch Coral Health Chart PADI specialty
Coral reefs are home to amazing biodiversity. As a reef researcher, underwater photographer and dive instructor, I always enjoy watching the joy new divers experience as they discover how amazing the marine environment can be. And naturally, people want to know what they can do to protect these special places. That is why we developed the PADI CoralWatch Specialty – divers can learn about coral bleaching, and how they can make their dives count by monitoring coral bleaching. Divers participating in the Specialty receive full PADI recognition and a specialty card.
Uli Siebeck • Coral Health Chart Investigator
I grew up in Germany and travelled to Australia for the first time when I was 10 years old. After 2 months of watching my dad conduct experiments on coral bleaching at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville (in 1981!) and snorkelling on the reef for the first time, I was convinced that I had to become a marine biologist! It scares me to think that future generations may not be able to see the wonderful underwater world I was fortunate to experience from an early age.
Many years later, after I finished a PhD on coral reef fish, Justin gave me my first ‘real’ job: the development of the CoralHealth chart that forms the basis of the CoralWatch organisation as we see it today. I travelled up and down the Great Barrier Reef to collect colour data of corals in various conditions, tortured many volunteers (thanks Dave!) until I had the right number and type of colours and learned to extract and quantify symbiotic dinoflagellates (zooxanthellae) with Ove Hoegh-Guldberg’s help so that each colour could be calibrated. After publishing the first CoralWatch paper, I received a fellowship and moved back into the world of fish to start my own research group. It is wonderful to see how the project has grown thanks to the efforts of all the other people listed on this page.
Alex Coughlan • Committed Volunteer
Currently undertaking a Bachelor of Marine Studies at the University of Queensland, I have been a part of the CoralWatch team since the ‘Focus on Corals’ Workshop held on Heron Island, in 2007. The fantastic instruction and training offered by the CoralWatch Workshop became an endless world of opportunities for me, as a Year 10 student. What commenced as a small flame of passion of the marine environment, soon flourished into a fierce burn. The consequent driving force to make a difference, combined with the association with CoralWatch, gave me ample inspiration to reach out and achieve my goals. The ability to work with like-minded individuals to attain a common objective is a great attribute of CoralWatch. I am proud to be a member of such an outgoing and directed organisation whose sole purpose is to educate by addressing key issues and providing achievable solutions.
Victoria Camilieri-Asch • Committed Volunteer
Initially from France, I am enrolled for the next two years at the University of Queensland in the framework of an existing partnership between UQ and Skema Bachelors. At the moment, I attend the third year of a BSc in Marine Biology. The choice of UQ was self-explaining because of the unique possibilities offered for field studies on the Great Barrier Reef. It was for sure the major reason for my coming to Australia: take part in research and in projects to protect such a marine biodiversity. I got involved in the team as an active member during my formation, assisting Diana Kleine with part-time volunteer work, to evolve in both a professional and a personal way while fulfilling myself at uni. Volunteering provides me with the ideal opportunity to assist at the CoralWatch organisation and represents the best way for me to expand my educational skills.
Cassie Bryant • Former Project Officer
I have been fascinated with the ocean since I was 8 years old, when I spent an entire day on my stomach staring into a Sydney beach tide pool and making a promise to myself that one day I would know what every single one of the inhabitants was. Now that I know, I want to share it with everyone! CoralWatch has been the perfect place for me to spread my knowledge about marine organisms, and in particular, about coral reefs and what is happening to them due to climate change. I love getting out in the community to promote our new book and our coral health charts. Answering the questions that come from reef enthusiasts who are genuinely concerned about the future of our reefs and want to make a difference is the best part of my job! The future of the reefs really is in the hands of the community and I hope to be able to give them good news for a very long time.
Chris Talbot • Former project officer
After finishing my bachelor degree in Marine Biology at UQ, I joined the CoralWatch team as temp Project Manager before commencing my PhD. Having nearly completed my PhD, I am extremely excited to again be involved with CoralWatch as co-Project Officer 4 yrs later, and delighted to see how it has flourished. I plan to help take CoralWatch to a new level by working on the information recorded in the global database, assisting in increasing communication with all the CoralWatch members and partners, and initiating more workshops and educational programs in association with collaborating scientists and conservation groups. With your help, we can slowly but surely spread the word and get EVERYONE educated, passionate, and involved in reef health and monitoring on a global scale, and see if we can’t try to restore our threatened ocean environments before it’s too late...
Ian Leiper • Honours Student: 'Coral health monitoring: linking coral colour and remote sensing techniques'. My study investigated whether coral health could be mapped using remote sensing techniques. This was done by locating corals on Heron Reef using the Coral Health Chart, and measuring the reflected sunlight from them - imitating how a satellite would detect the corals. Results showed that remote sensing would only be able to detect three categories of coral health as defined by Coral Health Chart brightness values of: 1 and 2 (bleached); 3, 4, and 5 (moderate colour); and 6 (dark coloured). If more detailed information on coral health is required, it must be collected in-situ using methods such as the Coral Health Chart.
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg • Coral Bleaching Expert
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is the Professor of Marine Studies and Director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, where he heads up an active research laboratory of 25 people. He completed his BSc Hons at the University of Sydney and PhD at UCLA in 1989, and has spent the past 20 years working on climate change issues within marine ecosystems. He was recognised with the Eureka Prize in 1999 for "ground-breaking research into the physiological basis of coral bleaching". He currently advises the CoralWatch program.
Project AWARE Foundation
Project AWARE Foundation, a registered non-profit organization, works in direct partnership with divers and water enthusiasts to conserve underwater environments, education, advocacy and action. Project AWARE partners with CoralWatch to involve divers and snorkelers in monitoring coral bleaching. More than 1,000 dive centres and individuals have signed up to the program. Divers and snorkelers interested in getting involved can search online at www.projectaware.org/coralreefs to find their nearest location.
Joanne Marston • Asia Pacific Manager, Project AWARE Foundation
In 2005 we trialed the CoralWatch method with dive centres in the Asia Pacific. We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback for the program. CoralWatch was rolled out across the globe in 2006 and we now have over 1,000 CoralWatch Operators registered with the program. Our aim is to get divers in the water, learning more about reefs, taking ownership of the environment and collecting data. We want to inspire the diving community and get them involved in coral monitoring activities. My best CoralWatch memory was at the Global Environment Facility conference in Cairns trying to persuade the South African Minister for the Environment to jump in the water and do some CoralWatch monitoring! I also love receiving news from the field where our dive centres have run a CoralWatch program and collected data. It’s exciting being part of a dynamic and passionate team who are determined to make a difference.
Reef Check Australia
Get involved and help save the Australian reefs! Reef Check Australia is always looking for volunteers! If you are a rescue diver and are located near Port Douglas/Cairns, Townsville and Sunshine/Gold Coast, then you can get be trained as a Reef Check Australia volunteer! Please check our website for further details on course dates. Becoming a volunteer gives you an opportunity to get involved in coral reef conservation, monitoring and management. As a trained Reef Check Australia volunteer, you get to dive for free on many reefs off the Queensland coast and save the reef in the processs! Come and look at our website! www.reefcheckaustralia.org
Jennifer Loder • Reef Check Australia's South East Queensland Coordinator
Reef Check Australia’s (RCA) South East Queensland branch is headed up by Jennifer Loder. Inspired by her first Indo-Pacific diving experience in Palau, Jenn moved to Australia to expand her marine biology knowledge and to pursue a career that blends science and education to protect coral reefs. RCA allows her to do just that! The organization blends citizen science, education and conservation to help protect coral habitats by training recreational divers to monitor coral health. The efforts of the RCA survey teams in SEQ have helped to make people more aware of coral habitats in the area and not only facilitated a better understanding of these unique habitats, but also how they are being impacted by the rapidly growing population in the region.
The University of Queensland eResearch Lab
The UQ e-Research Lab is based in the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Queensland. The e-Research Lab comprises a team of information scientists and software engineers developing innovative information management, visualization and publishing tools for researchers across many disciplines including: marine science, environmental science, biodiversity, bio-informatics, literary studies and art conservation. http://itee.uq.edu.au/~eresearch
Abdulmonem Alabri • Research assistant at The University of Queensland eResearch Lab Abdul is a key researcher on the Health-e-Waterways project which aims to develop cyber-infrastructure to address new management and decision-making challenges concerning Queensland's water supply. Abdul is also a PhD candidate working on “Enhancing the Quality of Citizen Science Data”. In his PhD candidature, he is employing new techniques to improve the quality and reliability of data captured by citizen scientists through the novel integration of data quality metrics and trust metrics. Abdul is the main software developer of the CoralWatch website.
Professor Jane Hunter • Expert in Scientific Data Management
Jane is Professor of eResearch at the University of Queensland and Director of the eResearch Lab, where she leads a team of researchers and software engineers in the development and application of innovative semantic web technologies to the analysis and management of research data collections. She is currently a member of the Academy of Sciences Committee for Data in Science and has published over 80 peer-reviewed papers on data management associated with a wide range of disciplines including on water information management, marine sciences, biodiversity and cultural heritage.