Marine Ecological Emulator (MAREE) An online decision support tool for exploring the potential impacts of changed management or new development on local water quality

Ms Rebecca Gorton1

1Csiro, ,


She is passionate about increasing awareness of how appropriate use of technologies such as high performance computing, machine learning and big data analysis and management can results in regime shifts in the scope of possible science.

She is the Project Leader of the FRDC project ‘Next generation decision support tools to support sustainable aquaculture in Storm Bay’, an exciting project that aims to deliver the systems and knowledge for ongoing science based resource management of the Salmon Industry in Storm Bay, Tasmania.

The Marine Ecological Emulator (MAREE) is a web based decision support tool developed in CSIRO and used by governments and industry for exploration of the potential impact of marine and coastal activities on local water quality. Use of this tool includes the exploration of the potential impact of nutrient and sediment loads associated with aquaculture industries; sewage treatment plants; and altered land-use in local catchments. The emulator is calibrated against a suite of outputs from a full biogeochemical model to ensure it provides information that is consistent with state-of-the-art biogeochemical modelling.

Traditionally, assessments of the potential impacts of marine and coastal activities have required the development of complex, expensive, and time consuming biogeochemical model scenarios. While the MAREE tool is not intended to replace development of a full model, it can be used by stakeholders to play out scenarios quickly and with limited training. This can potentially reduce the number of full model scenarios commissioned.

In this talk we present the methodology behind the tool, the calibration process, future developments and discuss some of the challenges and rewards when developing a decision support tool targeted at multiple stakeholders.


Bec is a Senior Software Engineer and the Team Leader of the Marine Informatics team within the Marine Systems Modelling and Informatics Groups in the Marine Resources and Industries Program in O&A.


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