I graduated in 2005 with a PhD in Geographical Sciences from the University of Queensland. My focus was on mapping live coral cover using remote sensing. Using my remote sensing expertise for a variety of applications, I have since worked as a Geomatic Engineering Officer in the Australian Army, developed models for spatially explicit mapping of recreation opportunities across New Zealand’s conservation estate, and developed techniques for integrating remote sensing into all phases of the disaster management cycle. My primary area of interest is in creating, applying and automating remote sensing tools for environmental monitoring and management problems. While the environmental target may vary from marine and coastal through to savanna ecosystems, my common approach is to optimise models for rapid quantitative information extraction and communication purposes. 

Please connect with me on social media via the links to the right. Also visit http://www.kejoyce.com/education.html to access my remote sensing education resources. 

  • EV2502: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Level 2; TSV & CNS)
  • EV3502: Advanced Geographic Information Systems (Level 3; TSV)
  • EV3506: Remote Sensing (Level 3; CNS)
  • EV5502: Advanced Geographic Information Systems (Level 5; TSV)
  • EV5505: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Level 5; TSV & CNS)
  • EV5506: Remote Sensing (Level 5; CNS)
  • Innovation
  • Remote Sensing
  • Coral Reefs
  • Drones
  • Active and collaborative learning
  • Flipped classroom
  • 2010 to 2015 - Senior Lecturer, Charles Darwin University (Northern Territory, Australia)
  • 2007 to 2010 - Remote Sensing Scientist, GNS Science (Lower Hutt, New Zealand)
  • 2006 to 2007 - Senior Technical Support Officer, Department of Conservation (Wellington, New Zealand)
  • 2003 to 2006 - Troop Commander, Australian Army (Brisbane, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2022 - Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems. Diversity and Inclusion Award
  • 2021 to 2022 - Dell Dream Tech First Prize
  • 2019 to 2020 - Advance Queensland SheEO Activator
  • 2019 to 2020 - Homeward Bound 2020
  • 2018 - Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards - Women's Leadership
  • 2017 to 2018 - Blended Learning and Innovation - VR for storytelling
  • 2017 - Women to Watch in the UAS Industry - Education
  • 2017 - JCU Excellence Awards - Research
  • 2017 - TropEco Award: For embedding sustainability in teaching and learning activities
  • 2016 to 2017 - Rising Star award. Developing hyperspectral drone technology for coral reef bathymetric mapping ($13,986)
  • 2016 - Reperio Commercial pitch second place. Sugar Sense: Using a drone to measure crop health (3,000)
  • 2014 - Innovation Award - Unmanned Airborne Systems
  • 2013 - Vice Chancellor's Award for outstanding contribution to student learning
  • 2013 - Innovation Award - Developing online tools for remote sensing education http://remotesensinglab.com/
  • 2006 - Australian Defence Service Medal
  • 2000 - Order of Australia Medallion (Young Endeavour Sail Training Ship award for leadership)
  • 2022 - Advance Queensland Scholarship. Certified Chair Executive Program
  • 2022 to 2024 - Boosting Female Founders Initiative. Drone pilots build the best map of the world to save global ecosystems
  • 2020 to 2022 - JCU Sandpit to Seed. GeoNadir: Building Mother Earth's Paparazzi to protect our most at-risk ecosystems
  • 2016 to 2017 - JCU Development Grant. Are satellites telling the truth? Perspectives from a coral reef ($78,366)

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 40+ research outputs authored by A/Prof Karen Joyce from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Reef Trust Partnership

Sea cucumber monitoring project

Indicative Funding
$37,969 over 3 years (administered by Macquarie University)
Although we know that sea cucumbers play an important role in bioturbation on coral reefs, there are still many unknowns in terms of the ecosystem services that they provide. Additionally, their spatial and temporal density and distribution throughout the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area is not well understood, yet we continue to harvest individuals to support global fisheries. We therefore need accurate baseline data of the sea cucumber populations, otherwise our extractive industries will remain at odds with ecosystem management goals. Achieving a comprehensive understanding of these populations will require a multiscaled approach incorporating intensive in situ surveys, collating industry and anecdotal observations, modelling habitat suitability, and broader scale surveys with remote sensing.
Jane Williamson, Stephanie Duce, Karen Joyce, Troy Gaston and Vincent Raoult (Macquarie University, College of Science & Engineering and The University of Newcastle)
Drones; Great Barrier Reef; Remote Sensing; Sea cucumbers; Fisheries; ROV

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Reef Trust Partnership

GBRF EOI Island Monitoring

Indicative Funding
$397,435 over 2 years (administered by QLD Department of Environment and Science)
The more than 1000 islands and cays in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) World Heritage Area (GBRMPA spatial data, 2019) support a diverse range of ecological, cultural and economic values. Many are threatened by climate change, but monitoring and management is difficult as many cays are remote and difficult to access. This project will develop and implement an efficient drone-based hierarchical monitoring protocol based on the recognition and use of `natural ground control points? that will enable more rapid and resource efficient capture of reef island status to inform management decisions.
Scott Smithers, Stephanie Duce, Karen Joyce, Nicholas Murray and Jack Koci (College of Science & Engineering)
Drone; Great Barrier Reef; Remote Sensing; Geomorphology; Island Habitat

AIMS@JCU - Scholarship

Leading practice framework for collaborative approaches to Indigenous cultural mapping for management of Sea Country.

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 4 years
Indigenous partnerships with government and industry have increased demand for Indigenous cultural mapping frameworks. Current approaches are a patchwork ranging from token inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) to collaborative participation. A framework developed through a project co-led with Traditional Owners/Indigenous Prescribed Body Corporation (PBC) can re-inscribe IK into maps of Sea Country. While advancements in planning technologies have led to improved natural resource management practices across the globe, they continue to be deployed according to colonial models, perpetuating the erasure of IK. This results in IK continuing to be underrepresented in Sea Country planning, management practices, climate change adaption and mitigation planning, and economic decision making. This project will work with Indigenous peoples using two-way sharing of knowledge and perceptions of risks to country, contributing to place-based risk reduction strategies. The results will provide a strong foundation to develop climate adaptation plans based on Indigenous cultural and environmental values. By establishing a leading practice framework for collaborative approaches to Indigenous cultural mapping of Sea Country, it will build capacity to empower Sea Country managers to move towards autonomous management of their country. This outcome will enable Sea Country managers to advocate and leverage their knowledge of country more effectively when engaging with state and corporate structures.
Redbird Ferguson, Karen Joyce, Christian Reepmeyer, Rachel Groom and Kellie Pollard (College of Science & Engineering, College of Arts, Society & Education, Australian Institute of Marine Science and Charles Darwin University)
Indigenous Knowledge; Indigenous Cultural Mapping; Sea Country Management; Cultural Heritage; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; Climate Change

CRC for Developing Northern Australia Scheme - Projects

Applying new technologies to enhance biosecurity and cattle quality.

Indicative Funding
$1,084,500 over 3 years (administered by Branir Pty Ltd & Trustee for Booloomani Unit Trust)
The vast natural environment of Northern Australia feeds the cattle industry; however, biosecurity threats have negatively impacted this. Conventional management of such threats such as weeds are not suited to such broad, harsh landscapes. The project will use an Internet of Things network with low-cost environmental sensors, drone mapping and big data analytics to develop and test data-driven, strategic pest management programs - ultimately improving both cattle industry and natural assets.
Ian Atkinson, Wei Xiang, Ron White, Stephanie Duce, Mohan Jacob and Karen Joyce (Research Infrastructure and College of Science & Engineering)
Biosecurity; Cattle; Drones; Weeds; Technology; Internet Of Things

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Improving the current understanding of coral reef thermal dynamics and its implication for predicting coral bleaching (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Investigating Hyperspectral Imaging for monitoring Health of Coral Recruits to improve Recruiot Resilience (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Best Practice Framework for Collaborative Approaches to Indigenous Cultural Mapping for Sea Country Management (PhD , Primary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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