Professional Diving Team working with an acoustic logger
The University of Plymouth Professional Diving Team works with academic staff assisting with a range of scientific work for sample collection to equipment deployment and monitoring.
Explore some of the projects we have been working on.

FinVision project

The University dive team are heavily involved in supporting the DEFRA funded  FinVision project led by  Dr Benjamin Ciotti with Dr Oliver Tills and  Dr Keiron Fraser as Co-investigators. 
This innovative project plans to use University of Plymouth designed and manufactured underwater camera systems to investigate how juvenile fish species utilise vital shallow water habitats, such as seagrass, kelp and hard rock substrates. The dive team are helping the research team deploy and recover the camera systems throughout Plymouth Sound.
University of Plymouth Professional Diving Team using underwater camera systems

Investigating the benthic biodiversity of Plymouth Sound

Mr Aaron Jessop is currently undertaking his PhD with the  School of Biological and Marine Sciences in association with the British Antarctic Survey; his Director of Studies is  Dr Keiron Fraser.
Aaron is using Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), metabarcoding and eDNA to investigate the benthic biodiversity of Plymouth Sound and presence of non-native alien species. ARMS are stacks of PVC plates developed by the Smithsonian Institution that mimic the natural structure of the seabed, allowing for sampling of marine species associated with rocky substrates. An extensive array of ARMS units are being deployed by divers at the University of Plymouth Marine Station and retrieved after one year on the seafloor for analysis. 
Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) investigating the benthic biodiversity of Plymouth Sound

Pristine Seas

Dr Keiron Fraser is currently working with the National Geographic Pristine Seas project on their Global Expedition. 
The project aims to works with governments and stakeholders globally, to collect biodiversity data from surface waters to the deep ocean. The data will be used to underpin marine spatial planning leading to the creation of Marine Protected Areas. Pristine Seas will be a major contributor towards delivering 30 by 30 in the marine environment and its work has already contributed to the protection of 6.6 million km2 of ocean. Keiron is acting as a consultant on scientific diving and expedition management and has already led expeditions in Colombia, the Maldives and the Cook Islands for the project.
Academics on RIB, working as part of Pristine Seas project

Investigating the impact of anthropogenic marine noise on marine vertebrate distribution and behaviour

Dr Clare Embling is an Associate Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Plymouth, her research interests include marine ecology and bioacoustics.  As part of a government funded project, Dr Embling investigating the impact of anthropogenic marine noise on marine vertebrate distribution and behaviour. 
To support this on-going research, the University dive team regularly maintains and services a Sound Trap ST300 acoustic logger situated near the entrance to Plymouth Sound. 
Diving maintaining Sound Trap ST300 acoustic logger

Shipworms – the worms that eat history

The University diving team provide HSE SCUBA training to both students and staff who require diving for their research. Dr Reuben Shipway was one of the staff trained by the University whose research centres on the ecology and impact of shipworms. 
Shipworms are of great interest due to their devastating impact on wood immersed in the sea, including historic shipwrecks. Rubin has recently carried out a study examining the impact of shipworms on the remains of Captain Cook’s vessel Endeavour lost off Rhode Island in the USA.     
Shipworms found at the wreck thought to be HMS Endeavour

Diving-based research in French Polynesia

Dr Miriam Reverter is a Lecturer in Marine Biology who is currently undertaking diving-based research in French Polynesia.  Dr Reverter is trying to understand the functional implications of benthic changes towards non-hard coral-dominated habitats. Along with an upcoming project that will study the interactions between hard corals (mostly Pocillopora) and proliferating macroalgae, and how this affects the ecosystem chemical and microbial landscapes.
Underwater in French Polynesia
Divers in front of Wavedancer boat