For my undergraduate degree, I studied BSc Marine Biology at the University of Hull, with a keen interest in anthropogenic impacts on various marine species. I have spent some time as a research assistant looking into noise and vibration on benthic marine species which sparked my interest in this field. I am now in my first year of the 4 Year Aura CDT programme looking into offshore wind energy.
My interests are primarily focused upon anthropogenic impacts and species interactions; my undergraduate dissertation examined the relationship between fecundity and food availability at Dogger Bank of grey seals at the Donna Nook site. This research is pivotal at the minute given the North Sea Power Hub being developed within this feeding location. I am very interested in the impacts of noise and vibration as well as other anthropogenic impacts from offshore wind farm developments and the subsequent impacts, both short and long term.
Why you applied for the Aura CDT:
I applied for the Aura CDT programme because I wanted to challenge and develop my knowledge base within a field with increasing importance and demand. I felt that my passion for the subject and drive to examine knowledge gaps made me an ideal candidate for a PhD, as well as being very keen to pursue a career within research.
The impacts of underwater noise and species in the marine environment have been well studied for marine mammals and some fish species. However, when looking at species further down the food-chain, research becomes sparser. There are tens of thousands of marine invertebrates which underpin the food web for the larger species that gain much protection from regulations.
Bridlington is one of the largest ports for the European Lobster fishery in Europe, where landings made €4,200,000 in 2014. As more and more turbines are placed in the North Sea, noise is going to become a much bigger problem and have wider impacts on the more sessile species such as marine invertebrates. The impacts of noise may result in shorter term behavioural changes or longer-term physiological problems which will cause a greater economic problem in terms of lobster catches and their subsequent price per unit weight.
My study will look at the effects, both short and long term, on commercially important invertebrates and the impacts that wind farm associated noise will have on these organisms. This may fall under two types of noise: impulsive through the installation and decommissioning and more continuous noise vibration during operation.
More information on this PhD Research Project.
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