iAtlantic PhD - Addressing Challenges in Novel Seabed Habitat Mapping (photogrammetry, vertical habitats and multiscale mapping

The Marine Geology Research Group, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, University College Cork, are seeking a PhD research candidate under the H2020 EU-funded project "iAtlantic". The successful candidate will be based at UCC in the Marine Geology group and will work with academics and researchers in partner institutions.

The importance of the Atlantic to the citizens, prosperity, human health, adaptation to climatic and environmental change and security of the nations that share the resource is now well-known (Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation, 2013). Seabed imaging and mapping are key baseline data that underpin informed management and monitoring of the Atlantic and its ecosystems. However, marine ecosystems are dynamic environments that have been changing both naturally through Earth's history (Bennett, 1990) and through recent time in response to a changing climate (Brierley & Kingsford, 2009; Cheng et al., 2017). New research reports observed changes in NE Atlantic deep-water habitats (Boolukos et al., 2019; Lim et al., 2018). This variability, coupled with opportunistic and restricted (inaccessibility, costly and weather-dependency) marine data acquisition means that this data only represents "snapshots" in time. As such, key baseline imaging and mapping data that underpin knowledge-based ecosystem management are not directly comparable.

This project aims to a) standardise potential monitoring methodologies via repeat mapping at high-resolution (e.g. via ROV photogrammetric acquisition and processing); b) use multiscale mapping and ground-truthing to develop a predictive habitat map of the Irish continental margin with a particular emphasis on vertical habitats; and c) use mapping outputs to determine deep-sea habitat patterns and processes in the Porcupine Bank Canyon and Porcupine Abyssal Plain, Irish NE Atlantic.

Candidates should hold a minimum second class (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a Geoscience, GIS, Marine Science or related discipline. Candidates should have a strong interest or experience in GIS (spatial analyses), seabed habitat mapping, benthic sedimentary processes and will be expected to participate in offshore field measurement activities.

The PhD is funded for 4 years and carries a stipend of €18,000 pa plus fees (non-EU applicants welcome). There are additional funds available to cover field/conference travel and other costs. Applications, which must include a CV, a covering letter explaining your interest and suitability for the position, and contact details for three referees, should be emailed to aaron.lim@ucc.ie. The deadline for applications is 5th July 2019. Informal inquiries can be made to Dr Aaron Lim (aaron.lim@ucc.ie).

posted: 12 June 2019     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.