2 year funded MSc Studentship: Seabed Habitat Mapping

Advancing seabed mapping techniques for deep-water habitat classification in Submarine Canyons

The School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University College Cork, are seeking an MSc by Research candidate within the Science Foundation Ireland-, Marine Institute- and Geological Survey, Ireland - funded project, "Mapping, Modelling and Monitoring Key Process and Controls on Cold Water Coral Habitats in Submarine Canyons" (MMMonKey_Pro; see http://marinegeology.ucc.ie). The successful candidate will be based at UCC in the Marine Geology group and will work with academics and researchers in UCC and USP, Brazil.

Submarine canyons are dynamic environments that support diverse biological communities including fisheries. The Porcupine Bank Canyon (PBC), Ireland's largest submarine canyon, is located at Irish-Atlantic margin on the Porcupine Bank. Recent work on the canyon, reveals a wealth of cold water coral-dominated habitats in the form of individual colonies, coral gardens, mounds and vertical cliff faces. The MMMonKey_Pro programme uses Irish state-of-the-art and new innovative marine exploration and analysis technologies to explore and monitor the PBC Cold Water Coral habitats and relate to ocean-climate environmental dynamics.

The MSc by Research addresses a key aim of MMMonKey_Pro through further developing novel seabed habitat mapping techniques. To this end, the project will utilise multiscale mapping data (multibeam bathymetry through to 3D photogrammetry) with spatial and image analysis tools to i) develop a 3D classification workflow for deep-water habitats and ii) determine an appropriate scale for habitat characterisation.

The project will be supervised by Dr Aaron Lim (UCC), Prof Andy Wheeler (UCC) and Prof Luis Conti (USP). Candidates should hold a second class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a Geology, Geography, Computer Science or GIS. Candidates should have a strong interest or experience in benthic sedimentary processes, seabed mapping and GIS and will be expected to participate in offshore field measurement activities.

The MSc is funded for 2 years and carries a stipend of €18,500 pa plus fees (non-EU applicants welcome). There are additional funds available to cover field /conference travel and other costs. Applications, which must including a CV, a covering letter explaining your interest in the position, and contact details for three referees, should be emailed to aaron.lim@ucc.ie. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 6th of November at 17.00 pm. For more information please contact Dr Aaron Lim.

posted: 17 October 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.