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.
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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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Research Fellow
Eriita JONES
Research Fellow
Bisun DATT
Research Fellow
As a bio-optical oceanographer, I like to use qualitative and quantitative information from the range of water colours in marine, coastal and estuarine ecosystems to better understand their biogeochemical dynamics. This information can be provided either in situ at a fine scale with high frequency data acquisitions using optical instruments or across ocean basins through ocean colour remote sensing imagery. As part of multidisciplinary teams in France (Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche-sur-Mer), Australia (CSIRO) and the UK (Plymouth Marine Laboratory), I have applied these approaches to examine processes as varied as the impact of the extreme 2011 Brisbane floods on Moreton Bay, the biogeochemical dynamics in upwelling and frontal ecosystems in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea or the impact of Ultra-Violet radiations on phytoplankton in the Southern Ocean. Eriita is a planetary and space scientist with a background in astrophysics, passionate about applications of satellite remote sensing and data fusion techniques to solving meaningful problems. Her main research applications have been in surface and subsurface water analysis using space based sensors, particularly the detection and characterization of subsurface water and potentially habitable environments on Mars, and the measurement of vegetation water use on Earth, using multispectral data. She has worked/is working in academia in Australia and Canada, with the Canadian Space Agency, with industry in areas of viticulture, forestry, and environmental water quality, and with the SmartSat CRC. She is also connected with international planetary research in machine learning and Mars image analysis, and with the CSIRO's Future Science Platform. She is a Review Editor for Frontiers Environmental Informatics and Remote Sensing. She is a former EMCR member on the National Committee for Space and Radio Science and President of the Women in Space Chapter of the National Space Society of Australia.
Eriita works across Curtin and University of Southern Australia
I joined RSSRG at Curtin University in August 2021 to work on the OysterQual project funded by the SmartSat CRC. This project aims to develop satellite remote sensing techniques to assess coastal water quality to identify potential sites for oyster aquaculture in remote areas of North-West Australia. Sentinel 2 and Sentinel 3 satellite time series imagery will be used to generate water quality products which will be validated using in-situ data from the study sites. Users from the commercial oyster industry will also be involved in testing and evaluating the remote sensing products within their operations.

I received my PhD in Remote Sensing from the University of New South Wales in 1999 and have spent the last 20 years working in University, CSIRO, Commercial Remote Sensing Companies, Defence, and State/Territory Government Departments. My interests are in researching and developing new applications and biophysical information products from satellite and airborne imagery. I have previously worked extensively with Hyperspectral and Multispectral imagery across a broad range of environmental and natural resource mapping and monitoring projects. My technical skillset includes sensor calibration/validation, sensor simulation and data fusion, field and laboratory spectroscopy, radiative transfer modelling, atmospheric and BRDF corrections, ENVI IDL and Python scripting, GIS and spatial analysis, time series analysis, machine learning, and a range of terrestrial and aquatic applications such as soil and mineral mapping, environmental applications such as acid mine drainage and oil spill/hydrocarbon detection, vegetation mapping and landcover change, shallow water bathymetry and benthic habitat mapping, etc.
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Charlotte Robinson
Post-Doc Research Associate
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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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).
Remote Sensing and Satellite Research Group, Curtin University, Bentley, WA 6102
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