Nicole Pedersen is a staff researcher in the Sandin Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she works on the 100 Island Challenge, a project which aims to describe and understand the variation and structure of coral reefs across the globe. For this project she oversees processing of large area imagery, using photogrammetry to render 3D models of large (100m2) swaths of reef. This imagery is then used to map and identify individual benthic organisms, allowing a greater understanding of the spatial dynamics and demographics of coral reef communities.

Nicole received both her BS in Ecology Behavior and Evolution and her MS in Biology from UC San Diego. Her Master’s work focused on using this large area imaging approach to understand the spatial patterns of juvenile corals. While most of her work has focused on shallow water coral reef habitats, she is excited to apply this technology to the deep-sea environment, finding innovative ways to provide access to remote environments using visualization techniques.