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)
  • EV5506: Remote Sensing (Level 5; CNS)
  • 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
  • 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 - Women to Watch in the UAS Industry - Education
  • 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 - 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 26+ 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.

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, Innovation and Science - Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship

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

Indicative Funding
$249,075 over 2 years
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

QLD Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation - Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants

She Flies: Using Drones to build STEM Confidence in Girls

Indicative Funding
The `new drone economy? is estimated to be worth US 20B pa by 2020, providing 10% of future jobs. Australia leads the world in non-defence applications of drone technology. Yet women and girls are largely missing from this important emerging sector (<1% female pilots). `She Flies? will give girls confidence in a male dominated STEM field. We will create and deliver a hands on workshop for high school girls, their parents and teachers, teaching technical skills, safety, and environmental survey.
Karen Joyce, Jason Holdsworth and Catherine Ball (College of Science & Engineering and Remote Research Ranges)
Remote Sensing; Drones; STEM; Women; Engaging Science

CSIRO - Contract Research

Spatial predictions of changes in forest biomass carbon (TLJV Postdoctoral project)

Indicative Funding
$154,000 over 2 years
This project will enable the appointment of a Postdoctoral Fellow who will work with JCU and CSIRO researchers to better link ground-based measures of biomass with remote sensing tools. This will provide spatial predictions of changes in biomass carbon with known certainty. Specific tasks for the first year of the project will include three stages of work, each focusing on TERN Supersites. The Supersites involved are FNQ Rainforest Robson Creek (Qld), Warra Tall Eucalypt (TAS and Calperum Malee (SA).
Michael Liddell, Karen Joyce, A Held, K Paul and S Roxburgh (College of Science & Engineering and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Biomass; SuperSite; Lidar; landstat

Wet Tropics Management Authority - Student Research Grant Scheme

Spectral assessment of canopy water content in the Queensland rainforest.

Indicative Funding
Hydration status of rainforest trees is a key indicator of vegetation health, influences carbon cycling and phenology, and interacts with disturbances such as fragmentation and fire. Establishing plant water status can be time consuming, costly, and logistically difficult. Remote sensing offers the opportunity to establish rainforest water status on a regional scale via the use of satellite technology, but ground based measurements are needed to verify individual tree and leaf scale responses to dehydration. This project aims to quantify spectral differences between dehydrated and normal FNQ rainforest tree species.
Emma Gabrielle Davidson, Karen Joyce and Yoko Ishida (College of Science & Engineering)
Remote Sensing; Spectroscopy; canopy water content; Rainforest; Drought

Australian Research Council - Linkage - Infrastructure (L-IEF)

Fieldwork or remote sensing? The blurred line of unmanned airborne systems

Indicative Funding
$40,807 , in partnership with the Australian Institute of Marine Science ($5,000)
The aim of the project is to develop a state-of-the-art Unmanned Airborne System (UAS) capability in support of field data acquisition in Northern Australia. The system will provide highly detailed calibrated imagery of difficult or inaccessible survey sites and bridge the scale gap between in situ observations and imagery acquired by higher altitude airborne or satellite sensors. The Unmanned Airborne System will have a diverse range of applications, including environmental monitoring, disaster management and recording sites of indigenous cultural significance. In addition, the System will be more flexible and cost effective than any other field or remote sensing tool.
Karen Joyce and Stefan Maier in collaboration with Vincent Ambrosia (College of Science & Engineering and California State University)
unmanned airborne system; Remote Sensing; Environmental Monitoring

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.

  • Long Term Monitoring of Mangrove Forests in Darwin, NT using the Landsat Image Archive (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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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