Damaris Torres-Pulliza

  • PhD Candidate (Marine Quantitative Ecology) Dept of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia (2016 – present)
  • MSc, (Geology), University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, USA (2004)
    Thesis: A Multi-Sensor Comparison for Coral Reef Habitat Mapping: A case study using a tropical patch reef environment in Biscayne National Park, Florida.
  • BA, (Geography), University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, USA (1996)

Locally and globally cumulative natural and anthropogenic stressors, including climate change, are threatening ocean, coastal and upland ecosystems. As well as putting our very food sources and livelihood at risk. Marine conservation planning makes use of baseline spatial data to depict where and how these ecosystems occur, work, interact and change. Thus, there is a fundamental need for accurate spatial data on the distribution, extent and environmental change of key parameters at spatial and temporal scales that promotes objective and rational decision making. Moreover, it is critical to develop reliable spatial datasets describing overall cross-scale social-ecological dynamics and their relevant role on building and maintaining general system resilience.

My research interest fall under the broad multidisciplinary heading of geospatial sciences applied along the ridge-to-reef spatial continuum for systematic social-ecological conservation planning. More specifically, identifying, developing and testing quantitative methods, conceptual models and geospatial tools to suitably transform raw information into structured data insights for scientific problem solving and spatially explicit decision and policy making. My interest is motivated by and has been applied to areas in earth and ocean sciences, making use of datasets collected from the field or derived using GIS tools, active or passive remote sensors, or other related geospatial technologies.

As a PhD candidate I will focus on data fusion and modeling to assess spatial and temporal scaling of storm-induced ecological change on coral reefs.