Marine Biology: KESS II Funded PhD Studentship: Remote methods for the assessment of coastal biodiversity interacting with marine renewable developments

  • Phd
  • Full cost + stipend
  • 30 June 2017

\This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.\*
Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. 
The rapid development of new technologies in the marine renewable energy fields creates a series of challenges in the management of marine coastal resources. Traditional methodologies for assessing habitats, fish assemblages and marine mammals are no longer appropriate as they are often not suitable for use around hard structure associated with marine renewable developments. The use of traditional technologies for assessing habitats and motile fauna creates uncertainly in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process potentially leading to poor decision making and opening up such decisions to future legal challenge.
This project is supported by the company Ocean Ecology Limited (OEL) and will examine and test different novel methods for the use of remote camera systems, drones and other remotely operated sampling tools for assessing flora and fauna around marine renewable structures and their environs. Specific focus will be on trialling the use of freshwater housings in the deployment of baited video cameras and the accurate use of drone technologies for characterising intertidal habitats.
It is proposed that this research will lead to the applied use of these techniques in marine monitoring and assessment programmes led by OEL and lead to their uptake and acceptance by the environmental regulators. This project will undertake extensive field work along the south wales coastline (with hot spots in Swansea Bay and Pembrokeshire).
This scholarships is a collaborative award co-funded by OEL and the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund. The scholarship provides 3 years of funding with a 6 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 60 credit award.


Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Marine Biology or a related subject. A relevant Master's degree is highly preferable. Relevant work or research experience is also highly desirable. They should also be eligible for UK/EU Fees.


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The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £14,198 p.a. dependent upon the applicant’s financial circumstances.
There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.


Please visit our website for more information.

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