Liverpool Skyline

Astrophysics Research Institute

Dr Claire Burke

Biography

Using an interdisciplinary approach, as part of the astro-ecology research group, I am applying drone and remote sensing technology, along methods developed in astrophysics, climate and atmospheric science, computer science, and engineering to major global challenges.

Current projects include:
Using drone-mounted thermal-infrared cameras we can track and monitor endangered and vulnerable species and help to catch poachers. Whilst thermal-infrared is a new technology for ecology, it has been widely used in astrophysics for decades. My research aims to apply techniques from astrophysics to automatically monitor wildlife and poaching anywhere in the world. I am also studying the impact of changing climate on the species we are monitoring.

Thermal cameras on drones can also be used to detect underground fire - even through layers of earth. I am developing a autonomous drone system for finding and fighting these fires, which are a major issue in developing nations and can in extreme years produce more carbon emissions than the entire transport sector.

Developing a search and rescue drone system for coastal and maritime operations.

Marine and reef conservation using drones and interdisciplinary-based image analysis.

I completed a PhD in astrophysics ("assembly of stellar mass in galaxy cluster cores over cosmic time") in 2013 at LJMU, and a postdoc in the evolution of the most massive galaxies in the Universe at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2013-2014. I then moved to the Met Office to work on the impact of climate change on extreme weather events. I returned to LJMU to work on the new field of astro-ecology in 2017.

Degrees

2013, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, PhD, Astrophysics
2009, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, MPhys Physics with Astrophysics

Academic appointments

Climate change attribution scientist, Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services, Met Office, 2015 - 2017
Postdoctoral research associate, Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2013 - 2014

Publications

Journal article

Burke C, McWhirter P, Veitch-Michaelis J, McAree O, Pointon H, Wich S, Longmore S. 2019. Requirements and Limitations of Thermal Drones for Effective Search and Rescue in Marine and Coastal Areas Drones, 78 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Burke C. 2019. Me and my telescope New Scientist, 242 :54-54 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Burke C, Rashman MF, Longmore SN, McAree O, Glover-Kapfer P, Ancrenaz M, Wich S. 2019. Successful observation of orangutans in the wild with thermal-equipped drones Journal of unmanned vehicle systems, DOI Public Url

Spaan D, Burke C, McAree O, Aureli F, Rangel-Rivera C, Hutschenreiter A, Longmore S, McWhirter P, Wich S. 2019. Thermal Infrared Imaging from Drones Offers a Major Advance for Spider Monkey Surveys Drones, 3 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Burke C, Wich S, Kusin K, McAree O, Harrison M, Ripoll B, Ermiasi Y, Mulero Pazmany M, Longmore S. 2019. Thermal-Drones as a Safe and Reliable Method for Detecting Subterranean Peat Fires Wang E. Drones, 3 DOI Author Url Public Url

Burke C, Rashman M, Wich S, Symons A, Theron C, Longmore S. 2019. Optimizing observing strategies for monitoring animals using drone-mounted thermal infrared cameras International Journal of Remote Sensing, 40 :439-467 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Ciavarella A, Christidis N, Andrews M, Groenendijk M, Rostron J, Elkington M, Burke C, Lott F, Stott P. 2018. Upgrade of the HadGEM3-A based attribution system to high resolution and a new validation framework for probabilistic event attribution Weather and Climate Extremes, :9-32 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Li C, Tian Q, Yu R, Zhou B, Xia J, Burke C, Dong B, Tett SFB, Freychet N, Lott F, Ciavarella A. 2018. Attribution of extreme precipitation in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River during May 2016 Environmental Research Letters, 13 :014015-014015 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Qian C, Wang J, Dong S, Yin H, Burke C, Ciavarella A, Dong B, FreyChet N, Lott F, Tett S. 2018. Human influence on the record-breaking cold event in January of 2016 in Eastern China Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99 DOI Public Url

Burke C, Stott P. 2017. Impact of anthropogenic climate change on the East Asian summer monsoon Journal of Climate, DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Burke C, Hilton M, Collins C. 2015. Coevolution of brightest cluster galaxies and intracluster light using CLASH MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 449 :2353-2367 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Burke C, Collins CA, Stott JP, Hilton M. 2012. Measurement of the intracluster light at z similar to 1 MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 425 :2058-2068 DOI Author Url

Mehrtens N, Romer AK, Hilton M, Lloyd-Davies EJ, Miller CJ, Stanford SA, Hosmer M, Hoyle B, Collins CA, Liddle AR, Viana PTP, Nichol RC, Stott JP, Dubois EN, Kay ST, Sahlén M, Young O, Short CJ, Christodoulou L, Watson WA, Davidson M, Harrison CD, Baruah L, Smith M, Burke C, Mayers JA, Deadman PJ, Rooney PJ, Edmondson EM, West M, Campbell HC, Edge AC, Mann RG, Sabirli K, Wake D, Benoist C, da Costa L, Maia MAG, Ogando R. 2012. The XMM Cluster Survey: Optical analysis methodology and the first data release Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 423 :1024-1052 DOI

Mehrtens N, Romer AK, Hilton M, Lloyd-Davies EJ, Miller CJ, Stanford SA, Hosmer M, Hoyle B, Collins CA, Liddle AR, Viana PTP, Nichol RC, Stott JP, Dubois EN, Kay ST, Sahlen M, Young O, Short CJ, Christodoulou L, Watson WA, Davidson M, Harrison CD, Baruah L, Smith M, Burke C, Mayers JA, Deadman P-J, Rooney PJ, Edmondson EM, West M, Campbell HC, Edge AC, Mann RG, Sabirli K, Wake D, Benoist C, da Costa L, Maia MAG, Ogando R. 2012. The XMM Cluster Survey: optical analysis methodology and the first data release MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 423 :1024-1052 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Stott JP, Collins CA, Burke C, Hamilton-Morris V, Smith GP. 2011. Little change in the sizes of the most massive galaxies since z=1 MONTHLY NOTICES OF THE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, 414 :445-457 DOI Author Url

Ma S, Zhou T, Stone DA, Polson D, Dai A, Stott PA, von Storch H, Qian Y, Burke C, Wu P, Zou L, Ciavarella A. Detectable Anthropogenic Shift toward Heavy Precipitation over Eastern China Journal of Climate, 30 :1381-1396 DOI Public Url

Burke C, Stott P, Ciavarella A, Sun Y. Attribution of Extreme Rainfall in Southeast China During May 2015 Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97 :S92-S96 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Burke C, Collins CA, Stott JP, Hilton M. Measurement of the intracluster light at z ~ 1 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Burke C, Collins CA. Growth of brightest cluster galaxies via mergers since z = 1 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Burke C, Collins C, Stott J, Hilton M. Evolution in cluster cores since z~1 DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Kirk B, Hilton M, Cress C, Crawford SM, Hughes JP, Battaglia N, Bond JR, Burke C, Gralla MB, Hajian A, Hasselfield M, Hincks AD, Infante L, Kosowsky A, Marriage TA, Menanteau F, Moodley K, Niemack MD, Sievers JL, Sifón C, Wilson S, Wollack EJ, Zunckel C. SALT spectroscopic observations of galaxy clusters detected by ACT and a Type II quasar hosted by a brightest cluster galaxy DOI Author Url Publisher Url

Conference publication

Burke C, Rashman M, McAree O, Hambrecht L, Longmore S, Piel A, Wich S. 2018. Addressing environmental and atmospheric challenges for capturing high-precision thermal infrared data in the field of astro-ecology Proceedings of SPIE, SPIE. Astronimcal Telescopes and Instrumentation DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Rashman MF, Steele IA, Burke C, Longmore SN, Wich S. 2018. Adapting thermal-infrared technology and astronomical techniques for use in conservation biology Holland AD, Beletic J. HIGH ENERGY, OPTICAL, AND INFRARED DETECTORS FOR ASTRONOMY VIII, Conference on High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy VIII 10709 DOI Author Url