Dr Lachlan McKinna is an Adjunct Research Fellow with the College of Science and Engineering. He is a former JCU student; receiving a BSc (Hons) in 2007 and a PhD in 2012. He is currently the Company Director and Lead Oceanographer at Go2Q Pty Ltd.

Dr McKinna develops state-of-the-art bio-optical remote sensing algorithms for observing aquatic ecosystems. He has devised innovative spatial analysis tools that are readily applied to earth observation satellite datasets for monitoring coastal water quality, cyanobacteria blooms, and marine biogeochemistry. Dr McKinna is particularly interested in using his skills to advance remote-sensing and in situ optical technologies to understand how anthropogenic activities and natural hazards affect coastal water quality and aquatic ecosystem health. Dr McKinna established an international research profile and currently works on projects with partners in Australia, North America, and Japan.

  • Earth Observation
  • Oceanography
  • Ocean colour remote sensing
  • Marine bio-optics
  • Marine and atmospheric radiative transfer
  • Shallow water remote sensing
  • Hyperspectral sensors
  • Inverse modeling
  • Ocean ecology and biogeochemistry
  • Marine water quality
  • 2017 to present - Company Director & Lead Oceanographer, Go2Q Pty Ltd (Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia)
  • 2017 to present - Adjunct Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville, QLD, Australia)
  • 2015 to 2017 - Software Engineer, SAIC/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD, USA)
  • 2014 to 2015 - Postdoctoral Fellow, ORAU/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (Greenbelt, MD, USA)
  • 2011 to 2014 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Curtin University (Perth, WA, Australia)
Research Disciplines
  • 2017 - Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Geophysics Award for Excellence in Scientific and Technical Support, NASA GSFC (Research Award)
  • 2016 - CEO's Dream Team Award, Science Applications International Corp. (Ocean Color Team Member)
  • The Oceanography Society
  • The Optical Society of America
  • The European Geosciences Union
  • The American Geophysical Union
  • The Japan Geophysical Union
  • 2018 - Collaborator, MODIS/VIIRS Science Team, NASA, USA
  • 2016 to 2019 - PI, Global Change Observation Mission Collaborative Science Team, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan
  • 2015 to 2017 - Collaborator, Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Science, NASA, USA

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
Book Chapters
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 13+ research outputs authored by Dr Lachlan McKinna from 2009 onwards.


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.

  • Benthic irradiance in the Great Barrier Reef: model, spatiotemporal patterns, and index of water quality (2022, PhD , External Advisor)

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