Remote Sensing & GIS Laboratory


Photo: Sam PurkisSam Purkis, Ph.D.

"Mapping the extent and status of coral reefs is a necessary precursor to planning for their protection. In the remotest reaches of the ocean, as on our doorstep, we must know the location of our resources if we are to conserve them. A global framework for conservation is critical and can be obtained using current earth observation technology."

Research Focus

The lab undertakes projects based around the theme of using remote sensing to monitor coral reef systems. The group has worked extensively in the Middle East, Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and endeavors to fuse observations made from space, with ecological observations made on the ground, in order to unravel the dynamics of coral habitats at reef-scale.

Research Activities

  • Regional-scale assessment of coral reefs Marine spatial planning
  • Ocean conservation
  • Space- and air-borne remote sensing
  • Comparative sedimentology (the present is key to the past)
  • Numerical simulation
  • Geophysics
  • Marine-and petroleum-geology
  • Invasive description modeling
  • Ocean connectivity modeling

Associated Scientists and Students

Research Scientists

  • Steven Saul, Ph.D.
  • Liisa Rohtla, Ph.D.


  • Andrew Calhoun (M.S. student)
  • Jeremy Kerr (Ph.D. student)
  • Rob Gardiner (M.S. student)

Contact Information

Sam Purkis, Ph.D.
COE Room #509
(954) 262-3647