Meet the passionate team of scientists, researchers, data analysts, and software developers behind Seamap Australia.
Associate Professor Vanessa Lucieer is the Centre Head of Ecology and Biodiversity at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).
Vanessa’s research profile focuses on the development of spatial analysis methods for translating remotely sensed data into information that be utilised to understand marine environments. Her research is supported by two nationally significant programs: the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Hub, and the Australian Centre for Excellence in Antarctic Science (ACEAS).
Vanessa was one of the original cofounders of the Seamap Tasmania project launched in 2000. In 2019, through the recognition of a common goal – to develop a nationally consistent benthic habitat classification mode – Seamap Australia was founded with national stakeholders and colleagues. Vanessa is the Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of Seamap Australia. She is responsible for the overall operational management of the platform, including overseeing the operational performance of the team, developing the science strategy for the data and managing the user committee feedback.
Associate Professor Vanessa Lucieer’s research contributes to two discipline areas: marine surveying (seafloor mapping) and marine remote sensing (underwater sensor applications) with the goal of advancing our understanding of marine communities and improving our ability to manage vulnerable environments. Through national and international collaborations Vanessa has bought different teams of people from various disciplines together to lead the development of novel methods to process acoustic and optical remote sensing data to map and characterise the seafloor. This information is used to understand the distribution of marine seafloor habitats, geomorphology and the links between marine ecology and the seafloor geomorphology in temperate and polar waters. Studying acoustic processing and spatial analysis in concert allows her to understand the uncertainties between data acquisition and data representation and their influences on the derived spatial products when used in ecological or geophysical modelling. Vanessa’s research has been at the forefront of modelling uncertainty through marine spatial analysis and quantifying the impact that uncertainty has on spatial prediction models developed for managing Australia’s marine park estate. Over the next 5 years she aims to extend the application of these methods to both national (Marine and Coastal Biodiversity Hub) and international (New Zealand Antarctic Science Plan and ACEAS) projects and train the next generation of seafloor mapping scientists.