Spatial-Ecological Data Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science
Marji is a geographer working collaboratively with marine biologists to answer spatially complex ecological questions, particularly modelling the spatio-temporal dynamics of how stressors (tropical cyclone generated waves, warming seas) damage coral reefs. Understanding this underpins effective spatial prioritisation of conservation as the climate warms. Marji also designs field surveys to ensure maximum data is collected for the cost and creates predictive habitat maps of the sea floor. In her spare time, Marji teaches kids about climate change by asking ‘What do penguins and coral reefs have in common?’ and here – which involves kids feeding like coral polyps and Marji ‘bleaching’ in a coral polyp costume. She runs the Kids Care About Climate Change initiative – with a giant banner of 1,246 drawings from 11 countries and 120 schools visiting Antarctica in 2019 and another of 2,629 drawings from 33 countries and 213 schools being showcased at the United Nations Climate meeting (COP26) and visiting schools and forests in Singapore, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, and Mozambique just to start! In Australia, the banner has been filmed at as many schools as possible as well as hanging 40m high above the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest in Queensland and from one of Tasmania’s tallest trees.