Remote sensing of the marine environment with ORE Catapult

Aura CDT Industry Partner Scholarships

ORE Catapult: Remote sensing of the marine environment

In partnership with Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE-Catapult), a 4-year taught and research industry-sponsored Aura CDT PhD is offered. The PhD directly addresses sector needs to develop remote sensing methods for the marine environment to accelerate development of offshore aquaculture and offshore wind energy.

Offshore aquaculture can deliver a source of sustainable seafood and biomolecules without the environmentally-damaging effects of traditional fishing. Together with offshore wind energy, aquaculture is the most promising ‘blue growth’ area for rapid development in the coming decade. But understanding the requirements and limitations of aquaculture will require the training of the next generation of multidisciplinary ocean scientists.

Underwater scene with fish and seaweed

Wave, wind and tidal conditions constrain the physical integrity of offshore structures, whilst biological factors such as nutrient supply and temperature tolerance constrain growth rates and harvestable yields. Economics and social acceptability will ultimately be decisive in the establishment of commercial-scale offshore aquaculture.

This PhD will explore the following research questions:

  • The suitability of offshore versus inshore sites for commercial scale bivalve (oysters, mussels) and macroalgae farming,
  • The effects of colonised offshore wind farm infrastructures and aquaculture sites of different scales on the marine environment in relation to the degree of physical mixing (wave and current)
  • Economic evaluation of the potential for co-located aquaculture-with-offshore wind at selected sites.

Data will be generated from fieldwork, satellite remote sensing and modelling during the study.

The post is available from September 2021 as a full-time position. You will join Cohort 3 of the Aura CDT in Hull, in the heart of the UK’s Energy Estuary – the global centre for research, innovation and development for the sector. Initially, you will study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Offshore Wind Energy and the Environment, followed by a 3-year PhD supported by ORE-Catapult.

Applications are open until Sunday 24 January 2021. Please see our instructions on How to Apply

Academic Supervisors

Dr Rodney Forster     email:

Dr Pierre Gernez               email:

Dr Krysia Mazik               email:



This full-time ORE Catapult PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘Home/EU/International’ student rate and maintenance (£15,560 per annum, 2021/22 rate) for four years, depending on satisfactory progress.


Entry requirements

If you have received a First-class Honours degree or a 2:1 Honours degree and a Masters (or the international equivalents) in Biosciences, Computer Science, Geography, Environmental Science, Oceanography or a related area, we would like to hear from you. Knowledge of some the following areas would be advantageous: marine ecology, ecosystems, satellite remote sensing, GIS, fisheries, statistical analysis. The field-based element of the work may require the candidate to participate in offshore activities on research vessels or with windfarm operators.

If your first language is not English, or you require Tier 4 student visa to study, you will be required to provide evidence of your English language proficiency level that meets the requirements of the Aura CDT’s academic partners. This course requires academic IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.0 in each skill.

Watch our webinar recording to find out more

Industry Scholarship applications open until 24/01/21