This M.R. Banks Lecture is presented by Professor Arko Lucieer, co-winner of the Royal Society of Tasmania M.R. Banks Medal 2019.
Biodiversity loss is recognised to pose one of the most serious threats to human well-being as biodiversity underpins ecosystem services such as biomass production, carbon sequestration and pollination. The scientific community has called for the development of essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) facilitating global observations from satellites. However, the resolution of satellite data is generally too coarse for direct measurement of biodiversity at the appropriate scales. While field surveys can provide direct observations, they are often expensive, time-consuming, and cover limited area. The disconnect between field-based and satellite monitoring has resulted in a scale gap that challenges our ability to assess biodiversity. This lecture showcases recent research efforts leveraging drone remote sensing to advance biodiversity assessment in Australian ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots.