Bio-optical Working Group Activities (Last updated June 2016)

Current Activities

The IMOS Bio-optical Working Group members continue their activity as part of a national and international Community of Practice.

A Task Team on Radiometry has also been formed, pending its approval through IMOS.

For further information please contact: Prof David Antoine, Curtin University.


Current Opportunities

PhD project in primary productivity and satellite remote sensing.  Please contact: Dr Martina Doblin, University of Technology, Sydney.



Meeting 5 - Dec 2012  (Brisbane, QLD)

The theme for this meeting was to facilitate and improve links from bio-optical data streams to biogeochemical models.  The aims were to:

1) Achieve a mutual understanding of what researchers want models to do and what bio-optical (satellite and in situ) data is required to build and run biogeochemical models.

2) Identify and prioritise research needs and knowledge gaps.

3) Identify collaborative opportunities (e.g. students, research and grant proposals), and match research needs with collaborative opportunities.

The minutes and recommendations from this meeting will be posted shortly.


Meeting 4 - Oct 2011 (Hobart, TAS)

This meeting was conducted following the IMOS QA/QC summit hosted by the ANMN and was focused on bio-optical data quality. Discussions centered around data processing and defined Level 0 (unprocessed raw with default factory settings), Level 1 (processed with settings derived from IMOS calibrations) and Level 2 (processed with regionally-specific fluorescence to Chl-a relationships) data.  The group put forward a series of recommendations regarding data quality checks and associated quality flags. The meeting minutes were provided to the IMOS office in October 2011 as a series of recommendations.


AMSA Conference - July 2011 (Fremantle, WA)

Group members contributed to the Special Symposium 'Optical remote sensing of aquatic ecosystems: crossing boundaries from turbid coastal waters to the blue open ocean


Meeting 3 - Feb 2011

This meeting focused on aspects of calibration of backscatter and turbidity data, which led to the drafting and submission to IMOS (in April 2011) of the document ‘Recommended Changes to Calibration Protocol for IMOS Backscatter and Turbidity Sensors’, providing the suggestion and scientific rationale for calibrating IMOS scattering and turbidity sensors in SI units (m-1), not nephelometric units (FTU/NTU).

The group also tackled issues of relevance to bio-optical data collection and validation at the National Reference Stations, and drafted and submitted to IMOS (in May 2011) the document ‘WG Recommendations regarding the National Reference Stations (NRS)’, which reviewed and suggested changes in sensor placement and biogeochemical sampling regimes at the NRS in an effort to maximize bio-optical data utility.

During this 3rd meeting we also reviewed preliminary data from a series of laboratory experiments evaluating liquid and solid calibration standards for chlorophyll and CDOM fluorometers. This work was conducted in conjunction with the appointment of Dr. Alan Earp, as supported by IMOS and UTS. Further laboratory studies and data analyses were conducted following the meeting, and a scientific manuscript was drafted by the group and submitted for publication in August 2011. This work was published in December 2011 as:

Earp, E., Hanson, C.E., Ralph, P.J., Brando, V.E., Allen, S., Baird, M., Clementson, L., Daniel, P., Dekker, A.G., Fearns, P.R.C.S., Parslow, J., Strutton, P.G., Thompson, P.A., Underwood, M.A., Weeks, S., and Doblin, M.A. (2011). Review of fluorescent standards for calibration of in situ fluorometers: Recommendations applied in coastal and ocean observing programs. Optics Express. 19(27): 26768-26782.


Meeting 2 - July 2010  (Wollongong, NSW)

Work was continued on ToR 1, which included the development of strategies and a series of laboratory experiments to evaluate calibration standards for WQM and ECOTriplet fluorometers.

This meeting also focused on ToR 4 – ‘Advance integration of in situ bio-optical observations and satellite remote sensing, including strategies for the development of inter-calibration protocols and exercises’. Group members gave presentations at the AMSA Symposium ‘Optical remote sensing of aquatic ecosystems: measurements, modelling and applications’, and conducted an SRS/Bio-optics Community Forum, which included a panel-led discussion and question/answer forum open to all interested parties.


Meeting 1 - March 2010  (Hobart, TAS)

This initial meeting determined the group’s terms of reference (ToR) and outcomes, including discussions on task prioritisation and planning.

Work was also begun on ToR 1 – ‘Develop an integrated and scientifically robust strategy for the calibration, validation and interpretation of single-wavelength fluorescence and scattering data, as currently collected by a number of IMOS facilities’