My research focuses on the ecology and photophysiology of tropical marine organisms in coastal habitats at risk. In recent years, my work has centred on the marine optical environment and how photosynthetic processes dictate the success of marine plants and how this impacts the habitat at a broader scale. Using fine-scale fluorometric technology together with field-based rapid-assessment techniques our research team has built a strong understanding of natural variability versus impacts from environmental threats.

I have forged strong collaborations with researchers at the University of Technology Sydney to delve further into the optics and photosystems of marine plants. Our joint ventures have led to new research using cutting edge tools and sensors in the area of fluorometrics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics to understand tropical seagrass systems.

Using an integrated scientific approach to manage marine habitats, I am currently leading a project on the drivers of deep-water seagrass dynamics and the implications of dredging on their optical strategies. I am particularly interested in the spectral attenuation of light at depth and how the plant modifies its photosynthetic machinery to adopt this environmental niche. This work feeds into management strategies used byt eh Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and state and federal regulators managing dredging programs on the GBR coastline.

Previous work on coral photophysiology and larval recruitment success in the Caribbean has also allowed me to integrate back into coral research on the Great Barrier Reef in 2018. I am currently co-leading a project to increase coral larvae settlement and recruitment success in the northern Great Barrier Reef.  The new research is one of six innovative ideas funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments. The innovative methods used will include rearing millions of coral larvae with improved performance and uptake of the symbiotic algae required for coral survival before the team settles the larvae directly on affected reef areas.

Other research interests include the productivity of tropical seagrass ecosystems, the resilience of seagrasses to disturbance and the role of seed banks and other reproductive mechanisms in recovery. I also am broadening my research interests and directions back into coral photophysiology and how such tools can enhance large-scale restoration efforts.  

Research Disciplines

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 Mrs Katie Chartrand from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

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

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation - Contract Research

NQBP and JCU Research and Monitoring Partnership ? Seagrass and Coral Studies.

Indicative Funding
$2,391,178 over 5 years
This project conducts the long term annual monitoring of seagrasses and corals in Mackay, Hay Point Abbot Point/Bowen and Weipa. The work forms part of a research and monitoring partnership between JCU and NQBP to monitor and assess marine environmental health within ports as well as support related research and education opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students in seagrass and coral ecology and applied management in the ports industry.
Michael Rasheed, Katie Chartrand and Skye McKenna in collaboration with Tony Ayling (TropWATER and Sea Research)
Seagrass; Coral; Marine Monitoring; Environmental assessment; Risk Assessment

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef - Contract Research

Great Reef Census Phase I: Science Delivery and Capacity Building

Indicative Funding
The Great Reef Census is a world-first citizen science effort to survey the entire Great Barrier Reef, filling critical knowledge gaps to support conservation strategies and spatial decision making, such as where the greatest management and restoration efforts should be targeted to support reef recovery. Katie Chartrand will drive the scientific principles of the program as set out by the Great Reef Census scientific committee. She will provide advice regarding future design and scope of the Census in the Phase I program as it rolls into Phase II and build the key linkages across industry sectors to garner the greatest number of vessels ever used on the reef for a sole science outcome with the delivery of the Great Reef Census in 2020. She will also support the delivery of science communication to engage both local community uptake and a global audience.
Katie Chartrand (TropWATER)
Great Barrier Reef; Marine monitoring; Science-tourism partnerships; Reef health; Citizen science

Reef Restoration Foundation Limited - Reef Restoration Foundation Limited - Contract Research

Scientific oversight and planning advice for Reef Restoration Foundation activities

Indicative Funding
$41,890 over 1 year
Advice regarding future design and scope for coral restoration techniques and program growth, including setting out strategic planning for key program objectives through joint RRF/JCU meetings through April 2020. Advice on consolidation of existing data and statistical design to answer key research questions.
Katie Chartrand, Alexandra Carter and Michael Rasheed in collaboration with Hannah Kish (TropWATER)
Acropora spp.; Restoration; Research; Coral; Coral nurseries; Tourism

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research

Boosting coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef - Scaling up coral restoration using innovative Symbiodinium co-culture and mass larval supply on reefs

Indicative Funding
$107,250 over 1 year (administered by Southern Cross University)
Supply millions of high quality coral larvae of foundation corals and provide the world's first mass production of larvae containing microalgal symbionts, which will increase larval energy and settlement success and survival of newly settled corals.
Katie Chartrand in collaboration with Robert Coles, Alexandra Carter, Michael Rasheed and Skye McKenna (TropWATER)
Coral Larvae; Coral Spawning; Restoration; Great Barrier Reef; Coral Reef

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research

Boosting coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef - Scaling up coral restoration using innovative Symbiodinium co-culture and mass larval supply on reefs

Indicative Funding
$71,000 over 1 year (administered by Southern Cross University)
This project will supply millions of coral larvae and significantly increase the settlement and recruitment success of juvenile corals. This will rapidly replenish damaged GBR coral sites, restoring ecological functions and resilience of coral communities. Our concept will significantly increase the supply of high quality larvae of foundation corals and provide the world?s first mass production of larvae containing Symbiodinium microalgae, which will increase larval energy and settlement success and survival of newly settled corals. Innovations include coral larval restoration at larger scales (hundreds of square metres) than previous studies and pioneering front-line diagnostics to confer thermal tolerance in coral recruits. Our team includes world-leading researchers with decades of relevant experience collaborating directly with tourism and other Queensland businesses to provide cost-effective outcomes that can be commercially scaled to restore large reef areas in future.
Katie Chartrand, Robert Coles and Alexandra Carter (TropWATER)
Symbiodinium spp.; Coral larvae; Coral spawning; restoration; Coral reef; Great Barrier Reef

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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