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Postgraduate research project

Long-term change in the benthos – creating robust data from varying camera systems

Fully funded (UK and international)
Type of degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Entry requirements
2:1 honours degree View full entry requirements
Faculty graduate school
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Closing date

About the project

Responsible environmental monitoring is fundamental to understanding and protecting marine environments and the sustainable development of marine resources, such as deep-sea mining, offshore oil and gas, or renewables. Long-term environmental monitoring is an essential component of the Global Ocean Observation Strategy and of particular relevance in the current UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. However, monitoring of temporal change in the remote deep sea is rare. Seabed photography provides a feasible, quantitative, repeatable, cost-efficient solution, and is increasingly used in the assessment and monitoring of change in remote marine environments, particularly by industry and government agencies. Effective ocean observation and successful monitoring require comparability between data collected at different time points, so practicable optimization of data collection for interoperability is important; however, these conditions for robust monitoring are not commonly met, and key questions remain. 

The aims of this project are to: (1) monitor temporal ecological change to megabenthic communities using towed cameras (and data captured with other camera platforms); and (2) establish best practices for optimizing interoperability of photograph-derived data for monitoring marine seabed communities. 

For full project details visit the Inspire project page.

Lead supervisor

  • Doctor Jennifer Durden (National Oceanography Centre)


  • Doctor Andrew Gates (National Oceanography Centre)
  • Doctor Phillip Fenberg (University of Southampton)
  • Doctor Brian Bett (National Oceanography Centre)