Tropical coastal ecosystems

Take the challenge and understand problems and solutions to managing tropical coastal ecosystems.

Course Description

Do you want to develop the skills and knowledge needed to help preserve tropical coastal ecosystems? These habitats provide goods and services for hundreds of millions of people but human activities have led to their global decline. TROPIC101x will introduce you to the incredible plants and animals that create these unique ecosystems. You will go on to explore the challenges these ecosystems are facing such as overfishing, coastal pollution, ocean warming and acidification, then learn about some techniques being used to tackle these problems. Lectures will be delivered by leading experts. Many of them were filmed on-site in the Great Barrier Reef, at The University of Queensland’s research station on Heron Island. The course concludes with an innovative virtual ecology project, where you will have the option to take part in a cit... Read More »

Do you want to develop the skills and knowledge needed to help preserve tropical coastal ecosystems? These habitats provide goods and services for hundreds of millions of people but human activities have led to their global decline. TROPIC101x will introduce you to the incredible plants and animals that create these unique ecosystems. You will go on to explore the challenges these ecosystems are facing such as overfishing, coastal pollution, ocean warming and acidification, then learn about some techniques being used to tackle these problems. Lectures will be delivered by leading experts. Many of them were filmed on-site in the Great Barrier Reef, at The University of Queensland’s research station on Heron Island. The course concludes with an innovative virtual ecology project, where you will have the option to take part in a citizen science project. Join us on an exciting journey, as you develop new knowledge and skills, during this beautiful and engaging course!

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Course Outcomes:
  • A basic understanding of the value, vulnerability, dynamics and sustainable management of tropical coastal ecosystems
  • Basic experimental design skills plus some simple analytical and statistical techniques
  • An understanding and appreciation of the local and global threats to tropical coastal ecosystems
  • An understanding and practical use of spatial planning tools
  • The process of designing and implementing an experiment in a virtual ecology project
Course Details:

Prerequisites

High school science recommended
About Instructor:

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg - Director of the Global Change Institute (GCI) and Professor of Marine Science

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is the Director of the Global Change Institute (GCI) and Professor of Marine Science at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Prof Hoegh-Guldberg has a BSc (honours) from Sydney and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Ove’s research focuses on the biology of coral reefs, particularly impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. In addition to publishing over 220 publications, Prof Hoegh-Guldberg leads a major research group and has started innovative education programs such as Stanford Australia. He is the Coordinating Lead Author for the ‘Oceans’ chapter for the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was awarded the Eureka Prize for his scientific research in 1999 and is currently an ARC Laureate (2013-2018) after finishing his term as Smart State Premier’s Fellow (2008–13).


Sophie Dove

Sophie Dove (Ph. D 1998,) has extensive experience in investigating the effects of environmental change on marine aquatic organisms. She is presently concerned with the interactive effects of SW temperature and SW pCO2 on a broad diversity of reefal organisms that are directly involved in reef construction and destruction. She is a teaching and research academic at the University of Queensland where she is the Director of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Laboratory. She has advised 20 post-graduate students, and is highly active in research having published 34 high impact journal articles over the last 5 years. Her novel isolation of pigments from Scleractinian corals led to two international patents.


Cath Lovelock

Cath Lovelock is a marine botanist who specialises in the ecology and ecophysiology of coastal plant communities. Her research group is particularly interested in the influence of environment, including global climate change, on plant community productivity and diversity. She conducts experimental work over a wide range of coastal plant communities that include macroalgae, mangroves and cyanobacterial mat communities. Some of her current research projects include assessment of how sea level and nutrient enrichment influences mangrove and salt marsh ecosystems, how mangroves mediate exchanges between the land and sea and how metabolism of coral reefs varies over latitude.


Pete Mumby

Pete Mumby is an ARC Laureate Fellow and is a marine scientist specialising in spatial ecology. Prof Mumby leads the Marine Spatial Ecology Lab (MSEL) that carries out applied science in support of coral reef management. His work includes basic coral reef ecology, remote sensing, ecological modelling, and the design of algorithms for marine spatial planning that consider larval and ontogenetic connectivity, climate change, and local physical conditions.


Hugh Possingham

Hugh Possingham is the Director of the ARC Centre for Excellence for Environmental Decisions. His research involves the use of mathematical and statistical tools to solve problems in ecology and conservation. Laboratory members range from empirical ecologists to mathematicians. Recent research successes include: producing the software (Marxan) that was used to rezone the protected areas within the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Marxan is now used by 100 countries around the world to design their marine protected area systems, approaches for minimising the impact of land-use change on coastal ecosystems, protocols for optimal monitoring and decision support for setting global conservation priorities. Web page: www.possinghamlab.org


Stuart Phinn

Stuart Phinn’s research interests are in measuring and monitoring environmental changes using earth observation data and publishing/sharing ecosystem data. He received his PhD from the University of California – Santa Barbara/San Diego State University in 1997. The majority of his work focuses on the use of images collected from satellite and aircraft, in combination with field measurements, to map and monitor the earth's environments and how they are changing over time. This work is done in collaboration with other environmental scientists, government environmental management agencies, NGO's and private companies. A growing part of this work now focuses on national coordination of earth observation activities and the collection, publishing and sharing of ecosystem data.


Chris Roelfsema

Dr. Chris Roelfsema developed applications for integrating field and remote sensing data for mapping, monitoring and modelling coral and seagrass environments helping researchers and managers to understand and conserve these environments better. Chris received a BSc in Hydrographic surveying (1989), Msc in Geodetic Engineering (1993) Technical University of Delft, Netherlands, PgDip in Marine Science (1999) and PhD Coral Reef and Seagrass Remote Sensing (2009) from the University of Queensland. In his work he develops various remote sensing approaches integrated with benthic field data collected through snorkelling/diving or automated underwater vehicles with high spatial resolution satellite imagery. His research has strong national and international collaboration and the results are used as input to model the impacts of sea-level rise, marine park planning and understand the trends of benthic communities in coral and seagrass environment.


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