My research broadly focuses on the ecology and photobiology of tropical marine biota in coastal habitats at risk from development. I am interested in 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 provides a better understanding of impacts from environmental threats.

In recent years, 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 exciting new research with cutting edge tools and sensors in the area of fluorometrics and genetics.

With a continuing passion to ensure an integrated scientific approach to managing marine habitats, I am currently leading a project on the drivers of deepwater 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.

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
Socio-Economic Objectives

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Journal Articles
Other research outputs

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 31+ 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.

QGC Pty Ltd - Contract Research

Environmental tolerances and drivers of deepwater seagrass change

Indicative Funding
$515,422 over 5 years
The project focuses on deepwater seagrasses (deeper than 8m) which are poorly understood or studied but occur extensively along the Great Barrier Reef Coastline. The project supports a PhD research program which aims to: 1) Determine the light requirements of tropical deepwater seagrasses, specifically Halophila spp., to establish seasonal irradiance triggers for seagrass die-off and subsequent recovery. 2) Describe the photophysiological characteristics which allow for Halophila spp. To persist in deepwater, low irradiance, high pressure environments compared to its shallow water counterparts. 3) Deliver applied management tools and outcomes that will assist in managing these ty0pes of seagrasses during coastal developments such as dredging in Queensland and the tropics where deepwater seagrasses occur.
Michael Rasheed and Katie Chartrand (TropWATER)
Seagrass; Great Barrier Reef Marine Park; Deepwater Halophila spp; Thresholds of change; Marine environments

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
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  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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