Catlin Seaview Survey

Official Catlin Seaview Survey Site

The Catlin Seaview Survey was undertaken over 7 years from 2012 to 2018. The project aimed to examine reefs from around the world to generate the first standardised global baseline record of coral reefs. These records can then be used to track reefs into the future and comparing future changes back to this baseline.

Pictures were taken along transects at various locations and depth from the surface down to 125m using a motorised underwater camera (SVII). A total of 11 expeditions across 26 countries were undertaken generating more than 900’000 pictures. This makes this project the most comprehensive survey of the world’s reefs to ever be undertaken.

Once images have been collected they are able to be analysed for a variety of information. By training a computer program to recognise coral from algae from sand and other substrates, these images are able to provide us with a snap shot on how reefs look today and their coral coverage.

By combining these individual photo’s and in partnership with Google, these photo’s form an amazing 360° panorama of reefs around the world. Showcased at the National History Museum in 2015, these panorama are now available to all so why not take a virtual diving within Google Earth.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this project has been the creation of the XL Global Reef Record, an open-sourced scientific data set that is available to all, from researches to policy makers and the general public. This record combines the baseline data collected form around the world by the Catlin project, and combines it with other worldwide research provided by the World Resources Institute, SCRIPPS and NOAA. This record then provides a platform for communicating its contained knowledge as vast resource to all.

Given the challenges and costs involved in collecting large quantities of reef data, this Global Reef Record will provide the vital information needed by countries to manage their reefs systems, particularly for those countries that would normally be unable to collect and utilise this type of information.

To find out more about the XL Catlin Seaview Survey, please visit the main website here.

Lab Contributes

Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Dr Pim Bongaerts
Dr Manuel Gonzalez Rivero
Dr Erwin Rodriguez-Ramirez
Dr Ben Neal
Dr Olga Pantos
Dr Emma Kennedy
Dr Julie Vercelloni


Underwater Earth
XL Catlin
World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SCRIPPS)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Associated Publications:

  1. Beijbom O, Hoffman J, Yao E, Darrell T, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Quantification in-the-wild: data-sets and baselines. arXiv:1510.04811
  2. Beijbom O, Treibitz Tali, Kline DI, Eyal G, Khen A, Neal B, Loya Y, Mitchell G, Kregman D. (2016) Improving Automated Annotation of Benthic Survey Images Using Wide-band Fluorescence. Scientific Reports 6:23166 DIO:10.1038/srep23166 
  3. Bongaerts P, Carmichael M, Hay K, Tonk L, Frade P, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Prevalent endosymbiont zonation shapes the depth distributions of scleractinian coral species. R. Soc. open sci. 2: 140297.
  4. Bongaerts P, Frade P, Hay K, Englebert N, Latijnhouwers K, Bak R, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Deep down on a Caribbean reef: lower mesophotic depths harbor a specialized coral-endosymbiont community. Marine Biodiversity 5: 7652. doi:10.1038/srep07652
  5. Bongaerts P, Muir P, Englebert N, Bridge T, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2013) Cyclone damage at mesophotic depths on Myrmidon Reef (GBR). Coral Reefs, 32 (4), 935 – 935.
  6. Bongaerts P, Riginos C, Brunner R, Englebert N, Smith SR, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Deep reefs are not universal refuges: Reseeding potential varies among coral species. Science Advances 3(2):e1602373 DIO:10.1126/sciadv.1602373
  7. Brown K, Bender-Champ D, Bryant D, Dove S, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Human activities influence benthic community structure and the composition of the coral-algal interactions in the central Maldives. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 497: 33-40 DIO:10.1016/j.jembe.2017.09.006
  8. Brown K, Bender-Champ D, Kenyon T, Remond C, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2019) Temporal effects of ocean warming and acidification on coral–algal competition.         Coral Reefs 38(2): 297-309 DIO:10.1007/s00338-019-01775-y    
  9. Brown K, Bender-Champ D, Kubicek A, Van Der Zande R, Achlatis M, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2018) The dynamics of coral-algal interactions in space and time on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:181 DIO:10.3389/fmars.2018.00181
  10. Bryant D, (2019) The distribution and abundance of coral at kilometre scales in response to local versus global disturbances in the Central Indian Ocean. The University of Queensland (PhD Thesis) DOI 10.14264/uql.2019.181
  11. Bryant D, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, González‐Rivero M, Phinn S, Brown K, Neal B, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2017) Comparison of two photographic methodologies for collecting and analyzing the condition of coral reef ecosystems. Ecosphere 8(10): e01971 DIO:10.1002/ecs2.1971
  12. Emslie M, Cappo M, Currey-Randall L, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Johns K, Jonker M, Osborne K, Srinivasan M (2019) Status and trends of reef fish and benthic assemblages of the far northern Great Barrier Reef. Australian Institute of Marine Science    
  13. Englebert N, Bongaerts P, Muir P, Hay K & Hoegh-Guldberg O, (2015) Deepest zooxanthellate corals of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Marine Biodiversity, DOI 10.1007/s12526-014-0221-8
  14. Englebert N, Bongaerts P, Muir P, Hay K, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2014) Deepest zooxanthellae corals of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Marine Biodiversity. DOI: 10.1007/s12526-014-0221-8
  15. Englebert N, Bongaerts P, Muir P, Hay KB, Pichon M, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Lower Mesophotic Coral Communities (60-125 m Depth) of the Northern Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. PLoS One 12(2): e0170336 DIO:10.1371/journal.pone.0170336
  16. Ferrari R, Mckinnon D, He H, Smith R, Corke P, Gonzalez-Riverro M, Mumby P, Upcroft B (2016) Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity: a cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling. Remote Sensing, 8 2: 113.1-113.21. doi:10.3390/rs8020113
  17. Fox M, Williams G, Johnson M, Radice V, Zgliczynski B, Kelly E, Rohwer F, Sandin S, Smith J (2018) Gradients in primary production predict trophic strategies of mixotrophic corals across spatial scales. Current Biology 28(21): R1263-R1265 DIO:10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.057
  18. Frade P, Bongaerts P, Englebert N, Rogers A, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2018) Deep reefs of the Great Barrier Reef offer limited thermal refuge during mass coral bleaching. Nature Communications 9:3447 DIO:10.1038/s41467-018-05741-0
  19. Glasl B, Bongaerts P, Elisabeth N, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Herndl G, Frade P (2017) Microbiome variation in corals with distinct depth distribution ranges across a shallow-mesophotic gradient (15-85 m). Coral Reefs 36(2):447‐452 DIO:10.1007/s00338-016-1517-x
  20. Gonzalez-Rivero M, Beijbom O, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Bryant D, Ganase A, Gonzalez-Marrero Y, Herrera-Reveles A, Kennedy E, Kim C, Lopez-Marcano S, Markey K, Neal B, Osborne K, Reyes-Nivia C, Sampayo E, Stolberg K, Taylor A, Vercelloni J, Wyatt M, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2020) Monitoring of Coral Reefs Using Artificial Intelligence: A Feasible and Cost-Effective Approach. Remote Sensing 12(3):489 DIO:10.3390/rs12030489
  21. Gonzalez-Rivero M, Beijbom O, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Holtrop T, González-Marrero Y, Ganase A, Roelfsema C, Phinn S, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Scaling up Ecological Measurements of Coral Reefs Using Semi-Automated Field Image Collection and Analysis. Remote Sensing for Coral Reef Monitoring 8(1):30 DIO:10.3390/rs8010030
  22. González-Rivero M, Harborne AR, Herrera-Reveles A, Bozed YM, Friedman A, Rogers A, Ganase A, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Linking fishes to multiple metrics of coral reef structural complexity using three-dimensional technology. Scientific Reports 7:13965 DIO:10.1038/s41598-017-14272-5
  23. Gonzalez-Rivero M, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Beijbom O, Dalton P, Kennedy E, Neal B, Vercelloni J, Bongaert P, Ganase A, Bryant D, Brown K, Kim C, Radice V, Lopez-Marcano S, Dove S, Bailhache C, Beyer H, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2019) Seaview Survey photo-quadrat and image classification dataset. University of Queensland DIO:10.14264/uql.2019.930
  24. Gonzalez-Rivero M, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2018) Seaview Survey: GBR Training and Validation Dataset. University of Queensland DIO:10.14264/uql.2018.518
  25. Gonzalez-Rivero M, Roelfsema C, Lopez-Marcano S, Castro-Sanguino C, Bridge T & Babcock R, (2020) Supplementary report to the final report of the coral reef expert group: S6. Novel technologies in coral reef monitoring, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Townsville,  ISBN 9780648721406
  26. González-Rivero, M., Bongaerts, P., Beijbom, O,. Pizarro, O., Friedman, A,. Rodriguez-Ramirez, A,. Upcroft, B., Laffoley, D,. Kline, D,. Bailhache, C,. Vevers, R,. Hoegh-Guldberg O (2014) The Catlin Seaview Survey – kilometre-scale seascape assessment, and monitoring of coral reef ecosystems. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 24 (Suppl. 2): 184-198.
  27. Griffin K, Hedge L, González-Rivero M, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Johnston E (2017) An evaluation of semi-automated methods for collecting ecosystem-level data in temperate marine systems. Ecol Evol 7(13):4640-4650 DIO:10.1002/ece3.3041
  28. Hernandez A, Leggat W, Bongaerts P, Herrera C, Ainsworth T (2018) Rethinking the Coral Microbiome: Simplicity exists within a diverse microbial biosphere. American Society for Microbiology 9:e00812-18 DIO:10.1128/mBio.00812-18
  29. Hernandez-Agreda A, Leggat W, Bongaerts P, Ainsworth T (2017) The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats. American Society for Microbiology 7(4): e00560-16 DIO:10.1128/mBio.00560-16
  30. Kennedy E, Vercelloni J, Neal B, Ambariyanto B, Brown K, Ganase A, Gartrell P, Kim C, Radice V, Hudatwi M, Hadi A, Prabowo A, Prihatinningsih P, Haryanta S, Markey K, Dalton P, Lopez-Marcano S, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, González-Rivero M & Hoegh-Guldberg O. (2020) Coral Reef Community Changes in Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia: Assessing the Efficacy of Management in the Face of Local and Global Stressors. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, DOI:10.3390/jmse8100760
  31. Lavy A, Eyal G, Neal B, Keren R, Loya Y, Ilan M (2015) A quick, easy and non-intrusive method for underwater volume and surface area evaluation of benthic organisms by 3D computer modelling. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 6(5):521-531 DIO:10.1111/2041-210X.12331
  32. Muir P, Wallcace C, Bridge T, Bongaerts P (2015) Diverse Staghorn Coral Fauna on the Mesophotic Reefs of North-East Australia. PLOS One, 10 2: . doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0117933
  33. Muir PR, Wallace CC, Pichon M, Bongaerts P (2018) High species richness and lineage diversity of reef corals in the mesophotic zone. Proceedings Royal Society B 285: 20181987 DIO:10.1098/rspb.2018.1987
  34. Neal B, Lin T, Winter R, Treibitz T, Beijbom O, Kriegman D, Kline D, Mitchell G (2015) Methods and measurement variance for field estimations of coral colony planar area using underwater photographs and semi-automated image segmentation. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187(8):496 DIO:10.1007/s10661-015-4690-4
  35. Pantos O, Bongaerts P, Dennis P, Tyson G, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Habitat-specific environmental conditions primarily control the microbiomes of the coral Seriatopora hystrix.  The ISME Journal, 1-12. doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.3
  36. Pantos O, Bongaerts P, Dennis PG, Tyson G & Hoegh-Guldberg O, (2015) Habitat specific environmental conditions primarily control the microbiomes of the coral Seriatopora hystrix. The ISME Journal, 2015, DOI 10.1038/ismej.2015.3
  37. Peterson E, Santos-Fernandez E, Chen C, Clifford S, Vercelloni J, Pearse A, Brown R, Christensen B, James A, Anthony K, Loder J, González-Rivero M, Roelfsema C. Caley J, Mellin C, Bednarz T, Mengersen K (2020) Monitoring through many eyes: Integrating disparate datasets to improve monitoring of the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental Modelling & Software 124:104557 DIO:10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.104557
  38. Radice V, (2019) Trophic ecology of shallow and deep reef-building corals The University of Queensland (PhD Thesis), DOI 10.14264/uql.2019.367
  39. Radice V, Brett M, Fry B, Fox M, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2019) Evaluating coral trophic strategies usign fatty acid composition and indices. PLoS One 14(9): e0222327 DIO:10.1371/journal.pone.0222327
  40. Radice V, Fry B, Dove S & Hoegh-Guldberg O. (2020) Biogeochemical variability and trophic status of reef water column following a coral bleaching event. Coral Reefs  DOI:10.1007/s00338-020-02021-6
  41. Radice V, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Fry B, Fox M, Dove S (2019) Upwelling as the major source of nitrogen for shallow and deep reef‐building corals across an oceanic atoll system. Functional Ecology 33(6):1120-1134 DIO:10.1111/1365-2435.13314
  42. Rodriguez-Ramirez A, González-Rivero M, Beijbom O, Bailhache C, Bongaerts P, Brown K, Bryant D, Dalton P, Dove S, Ganase A, Kennedy E, Kim C, Lopez-Marcano S, Neal B, Radice V, Vercelloni J, Beyer H & Hoegh-Guldberg O, (2020) A contemporary baseline record of the world’s coral reefs, Scientific Data, DOI:10.6084/m9.figshare.13007516
  43. Schaffelke B, Anthony K, Babcock R, Bridge T, Carlos E, Diaz-Pulido G, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Gooch M, Hoey A, Horne D, Kane K, McKenzie C, Merida F, Molloy F, Moon S, Mumby P, Ortiz J, Pears R, Phinn S, Ridgway T, Roelfsema C, Singleton G & Thompson A, (2020) Monitoring coral reefs within the Reef 2050 Integrated Monitoring and Reporting Program: final report of the coral reef expert group. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Townsville, ISBN 9780648589211
  44. Vercelloni J, Clifford S, Caley M, Pearse A, Brown R, James A, Christensen B, Bednarz T, Anthony K, González-Rivero M, Mengersen K, Peterson E (2018) Using virtual reality to estimate aesthetic values of coral reefs. Royal Society Open Science 5(4):172226 DIO:10.1098/rsos.172226
  45. Vercelloni J, Liquet B, Kennedy E, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Caley J, Peterson EE, (2020) Forecasting intensifying disturbance effects on coral reefs. Global Change Biology 26(5):2785-2797 DIO:10.1111/gcb.15059
  46. Wepfer P, Nakajima Y, Sutthacheep M, Radice V, Ang P, Terraneo T, Richards Z, Sudek M, Fujimura A, Toonen R, Mikheyev A, Economo E & Mitarai S. (2020) Evolutionary biogeography of the reef-building coral genus Galaxea across the Indo-Pacific Ocean.Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106905