I am a recent graduate from the University of Plymouth with a BSc in Marine Biology & Oceanography, and a ResM in Marine Science. Whilst at the University of Plymouth I developed an interest in deep-sea ecology, with a particular focus on mapping Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) and Marine Spatial Planning.
During my BSc I undertook a placement year working with the Deep-Sea Conservation Research Unit (DeepSeaCRU) at the University of Plymouth. Here, I worked on developing new habitat suitability models (HSMs) to predict the distribution of Desmophyllum pertusum reef and Pheronema carpenteri aggregations, whilst also independently validating existing HSMs.
My final year BSc project investigated the role environmental factors, in particular internal waves, play on driving the distribution and density of Pheronema carpenteri aggregations in the Porcupine Seabight, Ireland. My ResM thesis built on the mapping work carried out during my placement year, creating distribution maps for a further ten biotopes/VMEs across UK & Irish waters. Furthermore, my ResM thesis demonstrated a number of ways HSMs can be used to inform marine spatial planning, such as estimating the efficacy of existing conservation measures, and highlight areas of potential seabed/VME recovery.