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; CNS & TSV)
  • 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; CNS & TSV)
  • Innovation
  • Remote Sensing
  • Coral Reefs
  • Unmanned Airborne Systems
  • 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
  • 2019 to 2020 - Homeward Bound 2020
  • 2019 to 2020 - Advance Queensland SheEO Activator
  • 2018 - Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards - Women's Leadership
  • 2017 to 2018 - Blended Learning and Innovation - VR for storytelling
  • 2017 - JCU Excellence Awards - Research
  • 2017 - TropEco Award: For embedding sustainability in teaching and learning activities
  • 2017 - Women to Watch in the UAS Industry - Education
  • 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 - Innovation Award - Developing online tools for remote sensing education http://remotesensinglab.com/
  • 2013 - Vice Chancellor's Award for outstanding contribution to student learning
  • 2006 - Australian Defence Service Medal
  • 2000 - Order of Australia Medallion (Young Endeavour Sail Training Ship award for leadership)
  • 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 33+ research outputs authored by Dr Karen Joyce from 2002 onwards.

Current Funding

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

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

Department of Industry - Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship

She Flies Drone Camps: Building Northern Australia's Drone Ecosystem

Indicative Funding
$249,075 over 1 year
She Flies is a comprehensive and multidisciplinary programme across Northern Australia. While the She Flies brand will cover a range of national initiatives (http://www.sheflies.com.au), this particular application for funding will focus on the She Flies Drone Camps. This is a series of week-long camps aimed at teaching Northern Australian high school girls and their teachers or parents the possibilities of working with, and flying drones. From design and construction through to flying and finally using photography to create maps, She Flies Drone Camp will be hands on, practical, fun and safe. Importantly, it will also provide a career path opportunity that many young women probably never realised existed. With initial estimates suggesting that fewer than 1% of drone pilots in Australia are female, we need to encourage young women into this technology and its associated spatial sciences. This will ensure equity and diversity across the industry going forwards.
Karen Joyce, Catherine Ball, Renee Bartolo, Mangalam Sankupellay, Bruce White and Jude Ellen (College of Science & Engineering, Remote Research Ranges, Qld Department Environment & Resource Management and Charles Darwin University)
Remote Sensing; Drones; STEM; Wmen; Engaging Science

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.

  • Understanding Coral Reef Thermal Dynamics through Innovative Remote Sensing Applicaitons (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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