Valerie started her PhD at James Cook University in February 2021, under the AIMS@JCU scholarship. Her current project focuses on coral bleaching prediction models and investigates how bleaching impacts vary based on novel considerations of temperature history and coral sensitivity. New metrics will be included in coral bleaching models to incorporate the potential effects of acclimatization during pre-summer/winter and summer periods. Current bleaching outlooks will also be evaluated in order to identify the limitations present in current prediction tools. In addition, drone platforms can provide high spatial and temporal resolution thermal imaging to provide a better understanding of fine-scale bleaching variation within coral reefs. Validation studies will focus on refining current drone methods to study coral bleaching.
Her recently completed Masters Research Project focused on using remotely sensed data from drones to map out coral reefs using spectral unmixing techniques. She finished her Bachelors of Science at Imperial College London and after graduating, worked at various non-profits such as Reef Check Indonesia and the Misool Foundation, where she found practical application for her passion for coral restoration and research.
Primary advisors: A/Prof Scott Heron (JCU) and Dr Neal Cantin (AIMS)
Secondary supervisors: Dr Karen Joyce (JCU) and Dr Jonathan Kok (AIMS)