Maddie at AIMS1

Maddie's Story

Maddie worked on a Transgenerational Coral Growing Project at the Australian Institute of Marine Science at The Great Barrier Reef in which she incubated one-year old coral in order to retrieve water samples, collect pCO2 levels, and analyze individual coral growth.


Maddison Pickett interned at the Australian Institute of Marine Science on an ocean engineering project in the Great Barrier Reef. She originally began working on a Portable Drifter Project; the purpose was to design and, in the future, mass produce oceanographic portable drifters that are meant to follow ocean currents and collect oceanic data such as temperature and salinity. After a couple of weeks, Pickett sought an additional project. “I enjoyed the design aspect of the Drifter Project, but I was in Australia and specifically wanted to work on something that had a direct impact on the Great Barrier Reef,” she said. The project was the Transgenerational Coral Growing Project and its main goal is to grow different genotypes of one species of coral in future ocean temperatures and discover which ones can survive in the warmer projected conditions. She incubated selected corals to collect data that contributed to the overall growth and success of both the individual coral and the project itself. Within the next couple of years, AIMS intends to replant the successful coral back onto the reefs to promote the survival of the Great Barrier Reef in rising ocean temperatures.

  • Maddie at AIMS1
  • Maddie at AIMS2
“My MISTI summer experience not only fulfilled one of my dreams by giving me the opportunity to travel to Australia, but it created a new dream for my future as I hope to work for a company or agency with similar goals to those of the Australian Institute of Marine Science.”
Maddison Pickett '20
Maddie at MIT
Major & Class Year
Mechanical & Ocean Engineering '20
Great Barrier Reef, Townsville, Queensland
MISTI Program
Australian Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University