Dr Eric Lawrey


I completed a Bachelor of Computer Systems Engineering (Honours) from James Cook University (JCU) in 1997 followed by a PhD on modelling improved techniques for wireless communication, also at JCU, in 2001. After university I took up the position of Chief Technical Officer at Code Valley; a startup software engineering company researching a new way of developing software using distributed computing. In 2008 I joined the Australian Insitute of Marine Science (AIMS) as the developer of the eAtlas where I developed its architecture and software. In 2011 I took over as project leader for the eAtlas and now focus on data processing and stakeholder engagement.

Research Interests

My current research interest is in the design and development of the web platform behind the eAtlas that allows knowledge developed through environmental science to be spatially visualised and told as data driven stories. This work includes the development of web techology for delivery of the content, tools for processing environmental data and basemaps for the Great Barrier Reef, its catchments and the Torres Strait.

Author of

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This technical presentation provides an introduction to the aim of the eAtlas as well as a comphensive overview of the design and architecture of the eAtlas systems.
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This poster map shows satellite and aerial imagery of Torres Strait. It also shows the Australia Maritime Boundariers in the region. This region neighbours with Papau New Guinea resulting in complex maritime boundaries.
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This map shows the density of shipping traffic as measured by the Automatic Identification System (AIS). Each black dot on the map represents a reading of a vessel location taken each hour over a 3 month period in 2013. AIS is fitted to all large ships (cargo ships, container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, etc) and ferries (more than 12 passengers) and is optional for smaller recreational vessels.
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This animation shows the locations of Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) outbreaks as measured over the last 30 years.

This animation shows that the COTS outbreaks tend to travel down the coast taking almost 15 years to move from the initiation area north of Cairns to finally reach and dissipate off the reefs offshore from to the Whitsundays.

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The Winds of Zenadth Cultural Festival takes place every two years on Thursday Island. The festival is a community event that brings people together and showcases the strength and diversity of the Torres Strait people’s culture and customs.

The eAtlas information stall at the festival in September 2014, provided an opportunity for the community to try out the mapping and visualisation tools and to get familiar with the look and feel of the site. The most important message for the community was that the Torres Strait eAtlas is an internet site that is free for everyone to use.