Sciences and Exploration Directorate

Lachlan I.W. McKinna

(Research Oceanographer)

Org Code: 616

Mail Code: 616.2
Greenbelt, MD 20771

Employer: Go2Q PTY LTD

Brief Bio

Dr McKinna currently works for SAIC and supports ocean color science at the Ocean Ecology Laboratory (OEL), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). He holds a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Physics), a Bachelor of Science Honours (Statistics), and a Doctor of Philosophy (Physics) all from James Cook University, Australia. Dr McKinna has worked with in the OEL since 2014. His research focuses on developing state-of-ther-art ocean-color algorithms and implementing them within NASA's freely available ocean color processing software, SeaDAS.

Previously, Dr McKinna was based at Curtin Univesrity, Australia where he developed an algorithm for deriving water-column optical properties in the Great Barrier Reef. In addition, he investigated uses of Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) data for mapping seagrass meadows in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. During his gradauate program at James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, he explored new approaches for detecting blooms of the marine cyanobacteria Trichodesmium. He also developed approaches for mapping river flood plumes in the Great Barrier Reef using MODIS imagery.

Research Interests

Ocean color algorithm development

Earth Science: Remote Sensing

Marine radiative transfer, inelastic scattering, optically shallow water, bio-optics, hyperspectral and multispectral passive visble sensors, remote sensing coral reefs, ocean biology and biogeochemistry


Oceaographer / Software Engineer

SAIC - Goddard Space Flight Center

March 2015 - Present

Adjunct Research Fellow

College of Science & Engineering, James Cook University - Australia

June 2017 - Present

Postdoctoral Fellow

NASA Postdoctoral Program - Goddard Space Flight Center

January 2014 - March 2015

Postdoctoral Fellow

Curtin University - Remote Sensing & Satellite Research Group, Perth, Australia

January 2011 - December 2013


2012 - PhD, James Cook University, Australia
Dissertation title:  "Optical Detection and Quantification of Trichodesmium spp. within the Great Barrier Reef"

2007 - BSc (Hons), James Cook University, Australia
Dissertation title: "Investigating the Application of 2-D Discrete Wavelet Transform for Feature Extraction of Sea Surface Temperature Data used in a Seasonal Rainfall Prediction Model"

2006 - BSc (Mathematics & Physics), James Cook University, Australia

Current Projects

Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, and ocean Ecosystem (PACE) Mission

Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS)

Second Generation Global Imager (SGLI) on GCOM-C



Crooke, B., L. I. McKinna, and I. Cetinić. 2017. From toes to top-of-atmosphere: Fowler’s Sneaker Depth index of water clarity for the Chesapeake Bay Optics Express 25 (8): A361 [10.1364/oe.25.00a361]

McKinna, L. I., J. Werdell, and C. W. Proctor. 2016. Implementation of an analytical Raman scattering correction for satellite ocean-color processing Opt. Express 24 (14): A1123--A1137 [10.1364/OE.24.0A1123]

Reichstetter, M., P. Fearns, S. Weeks, et al. L. McKinna, C. Roelfsema, and M. Furnas. 2015. Bottom Reflectance in Ocean Color Satellite Remote Sensing for Coral Reef Environments Remote Sensing 7 (12): 16756-16777 [10.3390/rs71215852]

McKinna, L. I., P. Fearns, S. Weeks, et al. J. Werdell, M. Reichstetter, B. A. Franz, D. M. Shea, and G. C. Feldman. 2015. A semianalytical ocean color inversion algorithm with explicit water column depth and substrate reflectance parameterization Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans 120 (3): 1741-1770 [10.1002/ 2014JC010224]

McKinna, L. I. 2015. Three decades of ocean-color remote-sensing Trichodesmium spp. in the World’s oceans: A review Progress in Oceanography 131 177-199 [10.1016/j.pocean.2014.12.013]

Garcia, R. A., P. R. Fearns, and L. I. McKinna. 2014. Detecting trend and seasonal changes in bathymetry derived from HICO imagery: A case study of Shark Bay, Western Australia Remote Sensing of Environment 147 186–205 [10.1016/j.rse.2014.03.010]

Garcia, R. A., L. I. McKinna, J. D. Hedley, and P. R. Fearns. 2014. Improving the optimization solution for a semi-analytical shallow water inversion model in the presence of spectrally correlated noise Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 12 (10): 651--669 [10.4319/lom.2014.12.651]

Devlin, M. J., T. Schroeder, L. I. McKinna, et al. J. Brodie, V. E. Brnado, and A. G. Dekker. 2012. Monitoring and mapping of flood plumes in the Great Barrier Reef based on in situ and remote sensing observations Environmental Remote Sensing and Systems 147-188

Evans, R. D., K. L. Murray, S. N. Field, et al. J. A. Moore, G. Shedrawi, B. G. Huntley, P. Fearns, M. Broomhall, L. I. McKinna, and D. Marrable. 2012. Digitise this! A quick and easy remote sensing method to monitor the daily extent of dredge plumes PLoS One 7 (12): e51668 [10.1371/journal.pone.0051668]

Schroeder, T., M. J. Devlin, V. E. Brando, et al. A. G. Dekker, J. E. Brodie, L. A. Clementson, and L. I. McKinna. 2012. Inter-annual variability of wet season freshwater plume extent into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon based on satellite coastal ocean colour observations Marine Pollution Bulletin 65 (4): 210-233 [10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.02.022]

Devlin, M. J., L. I. McKinna, J. G. Álvarez-Romero, et al. C. Petus, B. Abott, P. Harkness, and J. Brodie. 2012. Mapping the pollutants in surface riverine flood plume waters in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia Marine Pollution Bulletin 65 (4): 224-235 [10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.03.001]

Mckinna, L., and Y. Everingham. 2011. Seasonal Climate Prediction for the Australian Sugar Industry Using Data Mining Techniques Knowledge-Oriented Applications in Data Mining [10.5772/13904]

McKinna, L. I., P. V. Ridd, and M. J. Furnas. 2011. A simple, binary classification algorithm for the detection of Trichodesmium spp. within the Great Barrier Reef using MODIS imagery Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 9 (2): 50-66 [10.4319/lom.2011.9.50]

Labrechts, J., C. Humphrey, L. I. McKinna, et al. O. Gourge, K. E. Fabricius, A. J. Mehta, S. Lewis, and E. Wolanski. 2010. Importance of wave-induced bed liquefaction in the fine sediment budget of Cleveland Bay, Great Barrier Reef Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 89 (2): 154-162 [10.1016/j.ecss.2010.06.009]

Choukroun, S., P. V. Ridd, R. Brinkman, and L. I. McKinna. 2010. On the surface circulation in the western Coral Sea and residence times in the Great Barrier Reef Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 115 (C6): [10.1029/2009JC005761]

Donald, D., Y. L. Everingham, L. I. McKinna, and D. Coomans. 2009. Feature selection in the wavelet domain: adaptive wavelets Comprehensive Chemometrics: chemical and biochemical data analysis 3 647-679 [10.1016/B978-044452701-1.00033-8]

Other Professional Information

Extended publication list on Google Scholar Profile:

Professional Societies

American Geophysical Union

Regular Member

2009 - Present

The Oceanography Society

Regular Member

2017 - Present