Great Barrier Reef


The current Australian Geographic (July-August 2018) has my story on RangerBot, the new generation of starfish-killing robot which may one day be on regular patrol in Queensland waters. IMG_9366

Developed by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) scientists, the ocean-going robot uses artificial intelligence to hunt down and take out Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) which, in plague proportions, are a leading cause of coral loss on the Great Barrier Reef.

IMG_9367I spoke to roboticist Dr Matthew Dunbabin of QUT about RangerBot’s capabilities and potential – and also how it has improved on the earlier model, COTSbot.

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October’s READER’S DIGEST is already hitting the newsstands. Inside, my Great Barrier Reef story outlines the impact climate change is having on the Reef.

RDAOct17coverLast year’s mass bleaching sparked a global deluge of contradictory coverage. Extreme opposites were reported, from the Reef’s ‘death’ to flat-out denials that it is in any real trouble. Hopefully this story might help to clear up the confusion by plainly describing the problem and what might be done about it.

The story is based on an interview with Dr David Wachenfeld, Director of Reef Recovery at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and a visit to Heron Island Scientific Research Station on the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Sea turtles – they outlasted the dinosaurs, but how will they fare against us? Habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, overfishing… we’re giving them plenty of existential crises.

Readers-Digest-International-July-2017In this month’s Reader’s Digest (July 17), my cover story shows how Queensland-based scientists and volunteers have been working to give sea turtles a future.

Meet Bev and Nev McLachlan, who have been on tireless turtle patrol at Wreck Rock Beach since 1977.

Marvel at the amazing discoveries made by Dr Col Limpus, Australia’s leading turtle scientist, responsible for the longest and most thorough program of turtle study ever conducted.

And have a peek at Townsville’s terrific Turtle Hospital at Reef HQ Aquarium.

Read all about it!

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Nemo, Reef HQ Turtle Hospital

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Nev & Bev, Turtle Monitors