Academic and technical staff | Curtin’s Remote Sensing & Satellite Research Group

Academic and technical staff

Professor, Group leader
Senior Lecturer
Professor, adjunct
RSSRG group leader. David received a doctorate degree in oceanography from the Université Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, France, in 1995. His research interests include marine optics, bio-optics, radiative transfer and applications, satellite ocean colour remote sensing including atmospheric corrections, modelling of oceanic primary production from satellite ocean colour. He has set up and maintained for 15 years a long-term time series program in the Mediterranean Sea, collecting physical, optical and biogeochemical data in support to bio-optics research and to calibration / validation of satellite ocean colour remote sensing observations. He has been working over years on regional and global applications of ocean colour remote sensing to study long-term changes in ocean phytoplankton and primary productivity.
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Dr. Fearns has over 18 years experience in physics and remote sensing science. His work has recently focussed on ocean colour remote sensing and in-water optical processes, reef and coastal habitat mapping, dredge plume monitoring, bush fire detection, and airborne vegetation mapping. He is a member of the Curtin University’s Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group. The group has expertise in field-based collection of optical and biogeochemical validation data, processing and analysis of aircraft and space-based remotely sensed data, reception and management of direct broadcast data, and processing of very large data sets using High Performance Computing facilities. The group has a long history of modelling and algorithm development in atmospheric, land and ocean remote sensing. Dr. Fearns has been involved in all aspects of the Group’s research. I have been a University staff member since the teaching of Physics commenced on the Bentley campus in February 1966 while completing my PhD is solid state physics at the University of WA. It was in 1987 that RSSRG was established. So, it is now 30 years old. My role in the Group at the outset was to initiate research by engaging graduate students, seeking research funding, building national and international links and, of course, teaching UG Physics. I rose through the ranks from Lecturer to Professor over the years. Some 4 years were spent overseas on sabbaticals in Europe and the USA promoting links with Curtin and establishing Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and research collaborations with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; NOAA/NESDIS, Washington; the Space Science and Engineering Center, Univ of Wisconsin; the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Univ of California - San Diego; MIT (Cambridge, MA); Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)) and Univ of California - Berkeley. I formally retired to the position of Adjunct Professor at the end of 2012. Since then I brought 9 students to completion of their PhDs.
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Charlotte ROBINSON
Post-Doc Research Associate
Research Engineer
Post-Doc Research Associate
Charlotte is a Postdoctoral Research Associate working on the ARC DP160103387 Project: Robotic investigation of water optical properties in the Southern Ocean. Her PhD research at the University of Technology Sydney focused on the areas of phytoplankton photobiology and bio-optics. As part of the RSSRG group Charlotte will apply her expertise in bio-optical monitoring techniques to study the dynamics of the phytoplankton communities in the Southern Ocean. Charlotte is Co-Editor for the Australasian Society of Phycology and Aquatic Botany and a member of the IMOS Radiometry Task Team.
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Matt's Honours study was with the RSSRG using SeaWiFS and AVHRR data products to study mesoscale ocean eddies. His doctoral fieldwork was performed in the Great Barrier Reef and produced a region specific IOP-based water quality algorithm suitable for MODIS satellite imagery. In USA, Matt worked with Mike Twardowski to help improve near-forward VSF measurements from laser diffraction. Matt currently runs a business performing remote sensing algorithm development, and designing and manufacturing ocean optics and water quality sensors. Matt's early career work spawned the DALEC above water hyperspectral radiometer which is currently being deployed by IMOS. Matt's interests include: Light scattering, Above water remote sensing reflectance-based IOP inversions, spectral benthic light availability, electronics, optical instrument design and music. I have been a member of RSSRG since 1998 and have been involved in many aspects of remote sensing over the past 20 years. My work has covered the marine environment, terrestrial remote sensing and atmospheric research. I've collected spectral, atmospheric and water quality parameters from a variety of fieldwork campaigns over the years and helped run training courses and workshops for the processing and application of satellite data. I have recently submitted my PhD thesis, "Remote sensing of cloud properties and rainfall: three decades of satellite observations over Australia". Global and Australian cloud cover were studied using a combination of High-resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS) and MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data for a 31-year period (1985 to 2015). A significant part of the research involved the regional characterisation of potential rain clouds in the Southwest and Kimberley regions of Western Australia using satellite-derived cloud physical and micro-physical properties (cloud top pressure, cloud effective emissivity, cloud top temperature, cloud optical thickness and cloud effective radius).
Post-Doc Research Associate
Owen's background is in solar physics, specifically his PhD was in automated solar image analysis. In 2018 he joined RSSRG to work on the joint WASTAC - Bureau of Meteorology Australian Land Surface Emissivity Study. This work involves the use of combined radiosonde and satellite based infrared sensor data to determine land surface temperatures and emissivities.
Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102
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