August 21, 2022
Canada/Eastern timezone

Invited Speakers

Enabling Ecologically Curious Robots for Monitoring Coral Reefs

Yogesh A. Girdhar | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)


Coral reef ecosystems host some of the highest diversity of life per unit area on Earth and harbor about one quarter to one third of all marine animals. Yet coral reefs worldwide are under tremendous pressure. We have lost more than a quarter of the world's coral reefs in the last 4 decades, and coral reef loss continues at an accelerating rate of 1-2 percent per year. There is a need to monitor these reefs, evaluating the change in their biodiversity, and also early detection of spread of disease to enable rapid potential interventions to present the loss. In this talk I will present ongoing efforts in my lab to scale up these monitoring efforts through the use of computer vision, AI, and, robots.


Yogesh Girdhar is a computer scientist, roboticist, and the PI of the WARPLab ( at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), in the Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering department. He received his BS and MS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY; and his Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. During his Ph.D. Girdhar developed an interest in ocean exploration using autonomous underwater vehicles, which motivated him to come to WHOI, initially as a postdoc, and then later continue as a scientist to start WARPLab. Girdhar’s research has since then focused on developing smarter autonomous exploration robots that, through the use of AI, can accelerate the scientific discovery process in oceans. Some notable recognition of his work includes the Best Paper Award in Service Robotics at ICRA 2020, finalist for Best Paper Award at IROS 2018, and honorable mention for 2014 CIPPRS Doctoral Dissertation Award.


More coming soon...