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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Laurence De Clippele

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Laurence's Project: Integrated ecological and geophysical mapping of cold-water coral habitats

Laurence will do a comparative analysis of the effect of cold-water coral habitat on megafaunal species distribution in the North Atlantic.

High definition videos and still images generated by remotely operated vehicle surveys covered a range of macrohabitat types both in areas with and without cold-water coral habitat. These will be analysed in conjunction with bathymetric and textural geophysical data provided by multibeam echosounders and sidescan sonar data. This unusually complete dataset allows a detailed interpretation of the factors that control megafaunal species distribution to be carried out.

Beyond this, the project will create new habitat maps in these poorly understood areas that will be very pertinent to on-going conservation policy development both on the High Seas and in the UK's deep-sea territorial waters. The latter are also highly relevant to the on-going creation of the UK's network of Marine Protected Areas and designation of High Seas international conservation areas for example through the United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity's Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area assessment.

Prof. Dr. Murray Roberts (CMBB, Heriot-Watt University)
Dr. Veerle Huvenne (National Oceanography Center)



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Location:   WP3.04                    

School of Life Sciences, WP3.04 Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS