Study level


Vacation research experience scheme


Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Luke Cravigan
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Zoran Ristovski
Acting Head of School, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Mass coral bleaching events over the past decade have heightened the need for research into techniques to enhance survival of the Great Barrier Reef.

Applying sea spray aerosol directly over coral reefs during periods of increased bleaching stress could mitigate bleaching by both locally reducing sea surface temperatures and by reducing incoming incident solar radiation. These effects are referred to as solar radiation management and can be broken up into the direct scattering of incoming solar radiation and via the interaction between sea spray aerosol and clouds.

Our research involves measuring aerosol and cloud properties over the Great Barrier Reef to optimise sea spray interventions to ameliorate coral bleaching impacts.

Research activities

A comprehensive understanding of the sea spray aerosol properties is required to predict the impact of their application over the Great Barrier Reef. This project will potentially involve:

  • measuring the physical properties, number concentration and size of artificially generated sea spray aerosol
  • measuring sea spray aerosol composition and water uptake properties
  • modelling the impact of adding sea spray aerosol over the Great Barrier Reef to cloud droplet concentrations.


We expect to produce data on the physio-chemical properties of sea spray aerosol. The data will be used to model the potential for artificially generated sea spray to form cloud droplets over the Great Barrier Reef. This will inform the design of the solar radiation management program, with the potential benefit of reducing the impact of future coral bleaching events.

Skills and experience

We'd prefer if you have a background in chemical/physical sciences with an interest in measurement techniques and analysis of large data sets.

If you're interested into furthering the study towards an honours or masters/PhD project, you'll be provided with training on the aerosol sampling equipment. This will enable you to participate in field work.



Contact the supervisor for more information.