2020 Early Career Visiting Scientists Announced

We are delighted to announce our successful first round of Early Career Visiting Scientists for 2020. They will join the IORA Blue carbon Hub to conduct collaborative research from March 2020. We Look forward to welcoming our visitors to the Hub offices in Perth.


Keep an eye on the website on their progress.

The successful applicants are:


Jackie Raw

South Africa

  • Jackie is a postdoctoral fellow at the Nelson Mandela University (Port Elizabeth, South Africa) where she completed her PhD in 2016. During the last 3 years her research has focused on assessing responses of blue carbon ecosystems in South Africa to current and predicted threats associated with global climate change. She has used quantitative modelling approaches to examine drivers of mangrove distribution and predict the potential for range expansion in southern Africa. She has also carried out spatial modelling to assess responses of salt marshes to sea-level rise and predict loss of habitat as a result of coastal squeeze. Jackie has worked collaboratively with the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Environmental and Observation Network (SAEON) on knowledge transfer across the science, policy and management spectrum in South Africa. She intends to use these collaborations, and those developed through the Blue Carbon Hub, to develop innovative approaches to restore and maintain blue carbon ecosystems in South Africa.
  • Project

    To develop a strategy to identify estuarine ecosystems in South Africa where blue carbon ecosystems can be restored to improve estuarine health and provide sustained support to rural communities.

Sanaruwan Lahiru

Sandaruwan Lahiru

Sri Lanka

  • Sandaruwan is a scientist working Sri Lanka's National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA). Sandaruwan has gained experience in environmental social economics and marketing aspects of the fisheries industry of Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on understanding the factors that influence wellbeing in fishing communities, the effects of non-tariff regulations on fish trade, Sustainable Development Goals, gender roles in the fisheries sector and the relationship between fishing communities and natural environment. Sandaruwan obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka, a postgraduate marketing diploma from Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) and a Master of Science degree from the University of Peradeniya.
  • Project

    To prepare a methodology handbook with case studies for economic assessment of the services of blue carbon ecosystems and other marine ecosystems.

Milica Stankovic

Milica Stankovic


  • Milica is a post-doctoral fellow at the Seaweed and Seagrass Research Unit at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand. Her research focus in seagrass ecology started in 2014 and she has since completed her PhD on blue carbon in tropical ecosystems and their response to climate change. Milica’s work tries to combine ecology, remote sensing and modelling to understand seagrass blue carbon and how it can be effectively measured and used as a climate change mitigation tool. She has hosted and led workshops on mapping, aiming to improve the knowledge of students and researchers on effective monitoring tools in coastal ecosystems.
  • Project

    To compare remote sensing methodologies of mapping seagrass extent.