Dr Gwilym Rowlands

Research Interests

My research examines how earth observation data, such as satellite imagery, can be best harnessed to the needs of ecology, conservation and management. This work includes image and spatial analysis, field monitoring and survey, as well as mathematical modelling and as such has relevance to a broad spectrum of applications. My work spans tropical and temperate regions of the world, and I draw on satellite, airbourne and vessel-bourne sensors to explore coastal and oceanic environments. My current focus is marine fisheries, where I study the opportunities and constraints of different satellite sensors, and work to develop operational solutions for effective monitoring, control, and enforcement working on the Oxford Martin Sustainable Oceans Programme.

Selected Publications


Rowlands GP, Brown J, Soule B, Boluda P, Rogers AD (2019) Satellite surveillance of the Ascension Island Exclusive Economic Zone and Marine Protected Area. Marine Policy.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.11.006

Gress E, Voss JD, Eckert RJ, Rowlands G, Andradi-Brown DA. (in press) The Mesoamerican Reef. In: Loya Y, Puglise KA, Bridge T (eds) Mesophotic coral ecosystems of the world, Springer, New York

Andradi-Brown DA, Dinesen Z, Head CEI, Tickler DM, Rowlands GP, Rogers AD (in press), The Chagos Archipelago. In: Loya Y, Puglise KA, Bridge T (eds) Mesophotic coral ecosystems of the world, Springer, New York.

Rowlands GP, Purkis SJ, Bruckner A (2016) Tight coupling between coral reef morphology and mapped resilience in the Red Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin 105 575–585

Anthony KR, Marshall PA, Abdulla A, Beeden R, Bergh C, Black R, Eakin CM, Game ET, Gooch M, Graham NA, Green A, Heron SF, van Hooidonk R, Knowland C, Mangubhai S, Marshall N, Maynard JA, McGinnity P, McLeod E, Mumby PJ, Nyström M, Obura D, Oliver J, Possingham HP, Pressey RL, Rowlands GP, Tamelander J, Wachenfeld D, Wear S, (2015) Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change. Global Change Biology 21, 48-61.

Purkis SJ, Rowlands GP, Kerr JM (2015) Unravelling the influence of water depth and wave energy on the facies diversity of shelf carbonates. Sedimentology 62 (2) 541-565

Rowlands G, Purkis S, (2015) Geomorphology of Shallow Water Coral Reef Environments. In:The Red SeaNajeeb, R., and Stewart, I., eds., The Red Sea: the formation, morphology, oceanography and environment of a young ocean basin. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Bruckner A, Kerr J, Rowlands G,  et al. (2014) Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation Atlas of Shallow Marine Habitats of Cay Sal Bank, Great Inagua, Little Inagua and Hogsty Reef, Bahamas. Panoramic Press

Knudby A, Pittman SJ, Maina J, Rowlands G(2014), Remote Sensing and Modeling of Coral Reef Resilience, Remote Sensing and Modeling, Springer, p. 103-134.

Rowlands GP, Purkis SJ, Bruckner A (2014) Diversity in the geomorphology of shallow-water carbonate depositional systems in the Saudi Arabian Red Sea. Geomorphology 222, 3-13

Rowlands G,2013. Remote sensing the diversity, distribution and resilience of coral reef environments. PhD Thesis Oceanographic Center. Nova Southeastern University, Florida, p. 228

Rowlands G, Purkis S, Riegl B, Metsamaa L, Bruckner A, Renaud P (2012) Satellite imaging coral reef resilience at regional scale. A case-study from Saudi Arabia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64,1222-1237

Bruckner A, Rowlands G, Riegl B, Purkis S, Williams A, Renaud P (2012) Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation atlas of Saudi Arabian Red Sea marine habitats. Panoramic Press

Riegl BM, Bruckner AW, Rowlands GP, Purkis SJ, Renaud P (2012) Red Sea coral reef trajectories over 2 decades suggest increasing community homogenization and decline in coral size. PLoS ONE 7, e38396

Schill S, Knowles JE, Rowlands G, et al (2011) Coastal benthic habitat mapping to support marine resource planning and management in St. Kitts and Nevis. Geography Compass 5, 898-917

Purkis SJ, Rowlands GP, Riegl BM, Renaud PG (2010) The paradox of tropical karst morphology in the coral reefs of the arid Middle East. Geology 38, 227-230

Riegl B, Purkis S, Keck J, Rowlands G(2009) Monitored and modeled coral population dynamics and the refuge concept. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58, 24-38

Rowlands GP, Goodman JA, Riegl BM, Renaud PG, Purkis SJ (2008) Habitat mapping in the Farasan Islands (Saudi Arabia) using CASI and QuickBird imagery. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft Lauderdale, Florida, 642-646

Rowlands GP, Purkis SJ, Riegl BM (2008) The 2005 coral-bleaching event Roatan (Honduras): use of pseudoinvariant features (PIFs) in satellite assessments. Spatial Science 53,99-112


List of site pages