• PhD Candidate, Quantitative Ecology and Evolution, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Australia (2016-present)
  • MSc Geology, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, USA (2004)
  • BA Geography, University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, USA (1996)

damaLocally and globally cumulative natural and anthropogenic stressors, including climate change, are threatening ocean, coastal and upland ecosystems. As well as putting our very food sources and livelihood at risk. Marine conservation planning makes use of baseline spatial data to depict where and how these ecosystems occur, work, interact and change. Thus, there is a fundamental need for accurate spatial data on the distribution, extent and environmental change of key parameters at spatial and temporal scales that promotes objective and rational decision making. Moreover, it is critical to develop reliable spatial datasets describing overall cross-scale social-ecological dynamics and their relevant role on building and maintaining general system resilience.

My research interest fall under the broad multidisciplinary heading of geospatial sciences applied along the ridge-to-reef spatial continuum for systematic social-ecological conservation planning. More specifically, identifying, developing and testing quantitative methods, conceptual models and geospatial tools to suitably transform raw information into structured data insights for scientific problem solving and spatially explicit decision and policy making. My interest is motivated by and has been applied to areas in earth and ocean sciences, making use of datasets collected from the field or derived using GIS tools, active or passive remote sensors, or other related geospatial technologies.
 
As a PhD candidate I will focus on data fusion and modeling to assess spatial and temporal scaling of storm-induced ecological change on coral reefs.

Selected Publications

  • Ramos-Scharrón CE, D Torres-Pulliza, EA Hernández-Delgado (2014) Watershed – and island wide-scale land cover changes in Puerto Rico (1930-2004) and their potential effects on coral reefs ecosystems. Science of the Total Env. 506-507 (2015) 241-251.
  • Torres-Pulliza D, JR Wilson, A Darmawan, SJ Campbell, S Andréfouët (2013) Ecoregional scale seagrass mapping: A tool to support resilient MPA network design in the Coral Triangle. Ocean & Coastal Management 80 (2013) 55-64.
  • Wabnitz C, S Andréfouët, D Torres-Pulliza, FE Müller-Karger, P Kramer (2008) Regional-scale seagrass habitat mapping in the Wider Caribbean region using Landsat sensors: Applications to conservation and ecology. Remote Sens. of Env. 112 (8):3455-3467.
  • Andréfouët S, FE Müller-Karger, JA Robinson, CJ Kranenburg, D Torres-Pulliza, SA Spraggins, B Murch (2005) Global assessment of modern coral reef extent and diversity for regional science and management applications: A view from space. Pages 1732-1745 in Y Suzuki, T Nakamori, M Hidaka, H Kayanne, BE Casareto K Nadaoka, H Yamano, M Tsuchiya, and K Yamazato (eds.) [Keynote] Proceedings of the 10th International Coral Reef Symposium, Japanese Coral Reef Society, Okinawa, 28 June – 2 July 2004
  • Andréfouët S, P Kramer, D Torres-Pulliza, KE Joyce, EJ Hochberg, R. Garza-Pérez, PJ Mumby, B Riegl, H Yamano, WH White, M Zubia, JC Brock, SR Phinn, FE Müller-Karger (2003) Multi-sites evaluation of IKONOS data for classification of tropical coral reef environments. Remote Sensing of Environment, 88, pp. 128-143.