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Cherisse Du Preez

The relation between biodiversity and seafloor rugosity in deep-sea sponge and coral habitats

Cherisse Du Preez
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About me? Well my friends call me Cher; I’m slightly accident prone, have an accent nobody can place, my favourite colour is blue, but more importantly (and on topic) I am one of those lucky people living their dream. I work and play in the ocean: I’m a surfer, diver & underwater videographer; and when I’m “on the clock” my job is to explore & film the mysteries of the deep-sea.

Verena Tunnicliffe

Biology, University of Victoria

11/2008 - 10/2013

Marine Biodiversity, MB-18: Corals and Sponges

As a member of CHONe my research is committed to the study of biodiversity science for the sustainability of Canada’s oceans. For my doctoral research I study benthic biodiversity patterns in deep-sea sponge and coral habitats off Canada’s Pacific and Atlantic coast, focusing on the relation between biological diversity and seafloor rugosity.

My major project objectives include:

    1. Defining the relationship of commercially important Scorpaenidae fishes to substratum, biogenic structures and trawling activity.
    2. Determining the relationship between deep-sea benthic biodiversity and micro and macro habitat rugosity.
    3. Determining the characteristic/s of microhabitat rugosity to which benthic biodiversity responds.


Scientists are always talking about the importance of “biodiversity” with the rational that: higher biodiversity results in a more sustainable, resilient community; many ecosystem services are performed by diverse assemblages of animals; and that the once thought to be an endless bounty of the sea can be affected and severely depleted by human activities.  My research will help fill a gap in our knowledge with regards to the importance of maintaining seafloor roughness and structures in protecting deep-sea biodiversity.





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