Student wins Asia-Pacific medal for eucalypt study


2019 Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards Qld

A USC student has won an international industry excellence award for his Science Honours research that used a range of tools and technologies to accurately map a single tree species in state forests.

Kent Olive, 33, of Maroochydore, won a category of the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards Queensland after his USC study successfully classified spotted gum in plantation and mixed-species native trees at Bauple and St Mary state forests, south of Maryborough.

This innovation could be valuable in conservation, land use planning and forestry.

Kent, who also has a USC Bachelor of Arts (Geography), won the Clem Jones Medal in the Undergraduate Student category.

His project integrated data from high-resolution satellite imagery and aerial laser scanning, then used modelling, image analysis and algorithms to identify and locate spotted gum. The accuracy was assessed via field surveys.

“Spotted gum is an important endemic Australian eucalypt which has significant conservation and hardwood value across Queensland,” Kent said.

“Applying remote sensing to classify spotted gum typifies the application of innovative technologies to a uniquely Australian situation.
“It was great to be recognised among spatial science projects that are working towards enhancing environmental and social outcomes for all of us.”

His USC supervisor, Senior Lecturer in Geospatial Analysis Dr Sanjeev Srivastava said the classification and mapping of individual tree species from remotely sensed data had the potential to overcome limitations in the broad-scale mapping of regional ecosystems.

“It can be used to inform land-use planning, conservation and sustainable forest management, with the potential to improve time, cost and accuracy efficiencies across the conservation, planning and forestry sectors,” he said.

Kent, a former chef from central and far north Queensland, said he enrolled at USC in his late 20s to combine his fascination with the natural environment and its protection with his curiosity about technology and science. 

“I then developed an interest in using remote sensing and geographic information systems to improve environmental outcomes,” he said.

“This project also allowed me to collaborate with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF), providing invaluable experience for my future career.”

When Kent graduated with his Arts (Geography) degree in April, he received a University Medal and a Royal Geographic Society of Queensland award for the highest graduating geography student, with a perfect grade point average of 7 out of 7. 

He also received a scholarship from the Institute of Foresters of Australia.

“I aim to work as a spatial analyst for progressive organisations dedicated to improving environmental outcomes,” he said.

His other supervisors were Dr Tom Lewis of QDAF and Dr Mohammad Reza Ghaffariyan of USC’s Forest Industries Research Centre.

Community Science & Research University & TAFE

University Of The Sunshine Coast : View Full Profile
90 Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs
07 5430 1234
University Of The Sunshine Coast
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
How cyberbullying affects your brain: study reveals 11 December 2019 | Cyberbullying has a measurable impact on the brain even if you are just watching, according to world-first research from USC’s Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute. More information...
USC researchers gain grants: Managing AI risks and reducing methane from cows 06 December 2019 | Research projects at USC to tackle two major global threats – climate change and unchecked artificial intelligence – have been boosted by nearly $1million in Australian Research Council Discovery Project... More information...
USC research to diagnose ‘invisible’ illness faster 09 December 2019 | A USC researcher has been awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council grant worth more than $1.2million to help find the underlying neurobiological factors that cause chronic fatigue synd... More information...
Hollywood star praises USC koala detection dog 04 December 2019 | A USC detection dog called Bear that is working to find injured and displaced koalas after recent bushfires in Australia has gained the attention of Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio. More information...
Graduate wins prestigious young planner award 04 December 2019 | A USC planning graduate described as a brilliant role model to others across Australia has been named Queensland’s Young Planner of the Year. More information...
USC academic launches ‘Christmas book’ with a twist 04 December 2019 | A best-selling new novel written last Christmas on the Sunshine Coast may play on popular Christmas song lyrics – but the story is far from whimsical. More information...
Job hunt support for students with a disability 02 December 2019 | USC has signed up for a national employment support program aimed at improving job opportunities for university graduates with a disability. More information...
Students’ water use device wins three national awards 01 December 2019 | An innovative device created by four USC Engineering Honours students to give householders more control over their water use has won three national GovHack awards. More information...
Doctoral playwright shines light on stay-at-home dads 02 December 2019 | Former theatre director and drama educator Richard Finn has drawn from his latest role in life to write a play for his Doctor of Creative Arts at USC. More information...
Sustainable business focus for Orange Sky leader 29 November 2019 | An organisation that provides regular laundry and shower services for people experiencing homelessness has appointed a USC graduate to lead its operations around Australia and New Zealand.  More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service