2010-2011 PERFECT Fellows

Noelle J. Relles

Ph.D. Student

Email: njrelles@vims.edu
Phone: (804) 684-7604
Office: 103A Maury Hall
Department of interest: Biological Sciences


Noelle Relles

Biological Sciences

Ph.D. Candidate

Advisor:  Mark Patterson

B.S. Interdisciplinary Study, Cornell University 2007


                  I am working on mapping coral reefs off the coast of the island of Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles, which is located in the southern Caribbean Sea.  My research involves underwater video data, as well as satellite remote sensing, which involves acquisition of images of the ocean from a satellite in space.  These two techniques will be combined to create modern-day reef maps to compare to maps created on Bonaire in the early 1980s.  Looking at changes in coral over this time will help to identify areas of concern where coral cover is declining, and areas for conservation where cover has remained relatively high.  It is my hope that the results of my research will be utilized by the managers of the Bonaire National Marine Park, a long-established marine protected area, to identify areas for conservation and management efforts. 


                  In addition to my interest in corals, reefs, satellite remote sensing and mapping, I’m also extremely interested in marine policy.  I think it’s important that, as scientists, we make our research findings available and understandable to the general public.  The National Science Foundation’s GK12 program has been a great opportunity for me to learn to share and communicate my science to a larger, more diverse audience.