Dr 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, spatial management of the high seas / deep-sea, marine habitat classification, marine habitat mapping, predictive species and habitat distribution modelling, population connectivity, deep-sea food webs and ecosystem impacts of deep-water fisheries.
Dr Nicola Foster is a postdoctoral researcher within the group leading our mesophotic coral reef research. She has expertise in population genetics and coral connectivity, as well as ROV video and image analysis, and species identification. Her current research is looking at vertical and horizontal connectivity of mesophotic reef corals to inform conservation and management of the reef ecosystems.
Dr Nils Piechaud is a postdoctoral researcher in the group working on the EU Horizon 2020 Mission Atlantic project. His research focuses on habitat mapping and modelling, and application of computer vision and AI to benthic image and video analysis.
Dr 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.
Poppy 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.
Clara Diaz is a PhD student in the group studying mesophotic reef ecosystems. Clara is using an ROV to understand community composition of Indian Ocean mesophotic coral reefs, and to map the distribution of different communities.
Giulia La Bianca is a PhD student in the group. Her PhD is entitled “Using ecosystem services mapping in deep sea marine spatial planning.” She is focused on understand the ecosystem services provided by deep-sea species and habitats, and, working alongside the habitat mappers in the group, hopes to find ways to spatially describe those ecosystem services.
Kyran Graves is ResM student at Plymouth University. His research is focused on modelling and mapping the distribution of deep sea habitats and species. Working with Giulia he hopes to support spatial management of the deep sea.
- Rhodri Irranca-Davies
- Jaime Davies
- Rebecca Ross
- Otis Brunner
- Chloe Game
- Amber Cobley
- Sophie Donaldson
- Carolina Ventura
- Andreia Carvalho
- Josh Davison
- Lauren Ross
- Fionn Farrell