Miss Amelia Bridges
Post Doctoral Researcher on the SMARTEX Project
School of Biological and Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science and Engineering)
BSc (Hons) Marine Biology & Oceanography, University of Plymouth
I also have 5+ years experience working for marine conservation organisations, NGOs and charities.
Marine Biological Association
My research interests include the ecology of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems and how they may interact with human activities in the deep sea such as fishing and mining. I also have a strong interest in marine conservation and spatial planning in both national and international waters.
My PhD focuses identifying the distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs, as identified in UN General Assembly Resolution 61/105) in the South Atlantic. This basin is particularly understudied, but is of increasing interest to various industries thanks to its rich biodiversity and diverse topographic features. VMEs, including cold-water coral reefs, deep-sea sponge aggregations and hydrothermal vents, are of great importance to many organisms as they provide refuge, food and complex habitat in the deep sea. Knowing the distribution of these ecosystems will prove crucial in any future scenario where area-based management tools may be used to preserve ecosystem functioning in the deep sea. I will use a variety of predictive habitat modelling methods to investigate the usefulness of this technique for identifying VMEs in a data-poor area at a variety of scales. This work will help to fill a number of knowledge gaps relating to VMEs themselves, as well as marine spatial planning in national waters and the High Seas in the South Atlantic.
My supervisory team consists of Dr Kerry Howell (Deep-Sea Conservation Research Unit, University of Plymouth), Dr David Barnes (Biodiversity, Evolution and Adaptation Team, British Antarctic Survey), Dr James Bell (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) and Dr Rebecca Ross (Institute of Marine Research, Norway).