Me_at_Rockall_SMALLDr Kerry Howell is head of the Deep Sea Conservation Research Unit. She is an expert in deep-sea ecology, with research interests in conservation and sustainable management, design of high seas / deep-sea marine protected area networks, marine habitat classification, marine habitat mapping, predictive species modelling, population connectivity, deep-sea food webs and ecosystem impacts of deep-water fisheries.

Nicola_Foster_smlDr Nicola Foster is a postdoctoral researcher within the group who has been investigating the use of species-area relationships to inform the conservation planning process in the deep North East Atlantic. She has expertise in video and image analysis, and deep-sea species identification, and her research interests include population connectivity and the use of population genetics to inform conservation and management of the marine environment.


2014-07-28 12.09.54

Kirsty McQuaid is a postdoctoral researcher in the group. Her PhD focused on spatial management of a polymetallic nodule-rich area of the Pacific Ocean called the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone. She is currently working on the One Ocean Hub addressing questions around spatial management of the South East Atlantic.



Amelia Bridges is a PhD student in the group. Her PhD is focused on the use of predictive habitat modelling to assess the extent & distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Atlantic deep sea. By analysing & combining data from Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction & from the waters of UK Overseas Territories, Amelia hopes to build a map of where ecosystems, such as cold-water coral reefs, are found in the lesser studied South Atlantic. This work has multiple applications, including informing marine spatial planning & area-based network management in the High Seas.

xlarge_PoppyPoppy Hesketh Best is a PhD student in the group. For her PhD project she is studying the microbial communities hosted by deep-sea sponges, and investigating the untapped potential of secondary metabolites for novel biologics. This research is focused on using molecular and novel culturing techniques to characterise the microbiome of deep-sea sponges.


Kyran Graves - DeepSeaCRU Profile

Kyran Graves is an undergraduate student at Plymouth University studying Marine Biology and Oceanography. He is currently working with us on his final year project. Kyran is  researching physical-biological interactions in the deep-sea environment. More specifically, investigating internal waves in the NE Atlantic and their role in driving patterns of deep-sea diversity. This research will give us a better understanding of how deep-sea organisms respond to oceanographic processes. Kyran hopes his research will help us to build improved habitat suitability models, which incorporate internal wave activity.


  • Jaime Davies
  • Rebecca Ross
  • Nils Piechaud
  • Otis Brunner
  • Chloe Game
  • Amber Cobley
  • Sophie Donaldson
  • Carolina Ventura
  • Andreia Carvalho
  • Josh Davison
  • Lauren Ross
  • Fionn Farrell