Sophie Al-Mudallal

Aura Centre for Doctoral Training

Work with industry, drive innovation, develop a sustainable future.

Fully-funded PhD scholarships in offshore wind energy
and the environment.

Sophie Al-Mudallal  

Charity Rep – Aura CDT Student Committee “I am taking on the role of Charity and Fundraising Representative within the Aura CDT and hope to organise fundraising opportunities for the Aura cohorts and university colleagues to take part in, and engage with charities that align with Aura’s beliefs. I have always been keen to support the important work of a wide range of charities and have had personal experience of fundraising events, particularly organising charity sporting events during my undergraduate degree. I believe that there is so much important work being done by global organisations and charities to help environmental challenges and working towards a sustainable future. Through organising activities for our colleagues I hope to be able to raise awareness for charities that we engage with as well as facilitate their work in any way we can.”

Background: I am a Marine Biology graduate from the University of Hull. My degree enabled me to follow my passion for the marine environment as well as focus my interest in certain areas including various impacts on marine life, particularly anthropogenic factors. During my degree I had the chance to gain invaluable experience volunteering within the Aquarist Department at The Deep, where I was also able to complete my dissertation project testing. My dissertation looked into anthropogenic impacts in a way, researching the effect of temperature on jellyfish polyps, an issue that can be applied to the future of our oceans with climate change being a such a current global worry.

Research Interests: My research interests remain similar to the focus of my undergraduate dissertation project, with the impacts that humans have on areas of the marine environment. In the future, I hope my research will involve looking into noise and vibration impacts from offshore wind farm operations on benthic organisms. This would be an interesting area of research for me following my previous work with benthic polyps and how they are impacted by different conditions.

Why you applied for the Aura CDT: The Aura CDT appealed to me with its innovative and interesting multidisciplinary approach to offshore wind energy. I wish to play a role in the future of the offshore wind sector whilst contributing to the future of environmental protection and sustainability. My dissertation project helped me to realise that I was keen to continue into a future of research, with this particular PhD opportunity being a perfect way to carry out research in a current field of interest.

PhD Research My PhD project aims to investigate the impacts of offshore wind related noise on sediment dwelling (benthic) marine invertebrates, an area of knowledge that is yet to be researched. With constantly increasing numbers of offshore wind developments, it is imperative to understand how the anthropogenic noise from turbine installation and operation may affect benthic invertebrates and ways in which impacts may be prevented. Benthic invertebrates provide the foundation of marine ecosystems globally and are vital to the biodiversity and conservation of the marine environment. Laboratory-based experiments to study how these organisms are affected by simulations of short and long term exposure to offshore wind noise and vibration will further the understanding of cumulative impacts. Any impacts or changes to sediment structure will also be studied, a vital factor in the behaviour and burrowing habits of benthic invertebrates. This research will help to gain insight into how offshore wind developments may adapt and account for the marine environment, increasing the sustainability of the offshore wind industry in the future. More information on this PhD Research Project.  



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