The Science

The Science Team

stefanDr Stefan Williams

Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney

Stefan is an Associate Professor leading the team who’ve pioneered the use of AUVs in Australia.  He is also one of the driving forces behind the IMOS AUV Facility and has a background in experimental robotics.  His research interests include Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping in unstructured underwater environments, autonomous navigation and classification of large volumes of data collected by robotic systems.

Craig_JohnsonDr Craig Johnson

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania

Craig is a Professor at the University of Tasmania, the Chair of the Marine National Facility Steering Committee, and contributes to the Australian Nationl Data Service Steering Committee.  Among other things, he is currently researching the impact of urchin barrens around Tasmania. His work has largely been with temperate and coral reefs.


SteinbergPeter Dr Peter Steinberg

University of New South Wales

Peter is a Professor at the University of New South Wales and is also the Director of the Sydney Institute for Marine Science (SIMS) and Co-director of the Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation (CMB).  He is particularly interested in kelp and the impact of climate change, chemical ecology, seaweed ecology and bacterial biofilms.


Neville_BarrettDr Neville Barrett

University of Tasmania

Neville is an ecologist with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) .  His work encompasses a broad range of biodiversity related research, including research on rare and threatened species, using Marine Protected Areas in a scientific reference role to untangle changes caused by fishing and other human impacts (including climate change) from natural variability.


russ babcockDr Russ Babcock


Russ is a marine ecologist with CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. He has broad interests ranging from invertebrate reproduction and larval ecology to the effects of marine reserves and trophic cascade effects.


gary kendrick
Dr Gary Kendrick

University of Western Australia

Gary Kendrick is a research and teaching Professor at The Oceans Institute and the School of Plant Biology, the University of Western Australia. Gary Kendrick’s long-term research goal is to develop a predictive framework for understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics between marine species distributions, their biology and the physical environment.


Peter-Doherty-AIMSDr Peter Doherty

Australian Institute of Marine Science

Peter is Science Leader of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Tropical Ecosystems (TE) Hub, which involves informing government and industry on research and management issues across these iconic ecosystems.  He has lead the Queensland node of the Integrated Marine Observing System since its inception in 2006.

tombridgeDr Tom Bridge

James Cook University

Tom has a broad interest in the biodiversity and biogeography of corals reefs, and his current research is focussed on understanding coral reef biodiversity in deeper waters beyond SCUBA diving depth, the relationship between deep and shallow reef habitats and the potential for deep reefs to provide refuge for coral reef species from climate change impacts.


image01,_maria_byrneDr Maria Byrne

University of Sydney

Maria  is Professor at the University of Sydney, and is an expert in the biology and ecology of marine invertebrates with a focus on echinoderms and molluscs.  Her research has shown how the simultaneous increase in ocean acidity and temperature affect development from fertilised egg to juvenile stages of sea urchins and abalone.


Renata-Ferrari Dr Renata Ferrari Legorreta

University of Sydney

Renata is a postdoctoral fellow, working with a multidisciplinary group to understand the benthic dynamics of the marine habitats inside and outside marine protected areas. The multidisciplinary nature of the team translates into working with the most complete data sets gathered through novel technologies, such as AUV stereo imagery, allowing innovative approaches to understanding how key ecosystems function.


nicole hillDr Nicole Hill

University of Tasmania

Nicole has worked on a diverse range of topics such as temperate reef biodiversity, ecotoxicology, polar ecology and algal- herbivore interactions. Her current research, which she has been conducting as part of the Commonwealth Environmental Research Facilities (CERF) Marine Biodiversity Hub (a collaborative national program hosted by UTAS) which focuses on developing predictive relationships between environmental surrogates and marine biodiversity.


Martin-MarzloffDr Martin Marzloff

University of Tasmania

Martin is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) and is currently mapping  the distribution of key habitat-forming species on the continental shelf of temperate eastern Australia.  His previous research  involved developing ecosystem models of rocky-reef communities around Tasmania to inform management interventions to mitigate destructive grazing of seaweed beds by the invasive long-spined sea urchin.


RKH2Dr Renae Hovey

University of Western Australia

Renae is from the UWA Oceans Institute and School of Earth and Environment, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.  Dr Hovey’s  PHD research was about whether sea grass, 80 percent of which has eroded due to industry and sewage off Cockburn Sound, would see regeneration occur with provision of nutrients. Her recent work was looking at the distribution of the western rock lobster Panulirus Cygnus through modelling deep water habitats.


ariellfriedmanDr Ariell Friedman

Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney

Ariell recently submitted his Doctoral thesis at the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics.  His work has focussed on improving the ways in which scientists access and utilise the large amounts of image data that are collected by photo-mapping AUVs, and he has been developing novel methods that support the automated interpretation of benthic stereo imagery.


danielsteinbergDr Daniel Steinberg

Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney

Daniel has recently submitted his Doctoral thesis at the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics and has taken up a position as a research fellow at NICTA.  His research examined unsupervised methods for obtaining comprehensive visual summaries of large volumes of image data.


NouraniVataniDr Navid Nourani-Vatani

Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney

Navid is an SIEF postdoctoral research fellow at the Australian Centre for Field Robotics where he is developing image-based benthic habitat classification and counting methods for data collected by Autonomous Underwater Vehicles.  Previously he was with the Autonomous Systems Laboratory at the CSIRO ICT Centre where he developed coverage, localization, and navigation technologies for the lab’s autonomous ground vehicles.


oscarpizzaroDr Oscar Pizarro

Australian Centre for Field Robotics, The University of Sydney

Oscar is an ARC QEII research fellow at the University of Sydney’s Australian Centre for Field Robotics.  He has made several important theoretical and engineering contributions to the field of underwater robotics and imaging. He was also a key member in the design, development and operation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s benthic imaging Seabed AUV.


ziggyDr Ezequiel Marzinelli

University of New South Wales

Ezequiel is a research associate with the Centre of Marine Bio-innovation at UNSW. His research is on processes that influence distributions, abundances and interactions of macro- and micro-organisms in marine habitats. He is particularly interested in the effects of climatic changes and anthropogenic disturbances on interactions between habitat-forming algae and natural enemies (e.g. pathogens).


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