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Katleen Robert

Tools for studying variability in ecosystem services using seafloor cameras

Katleen Robert
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I received a BSc in wildlife biology from McGill University where I studied topics ranging from canopy arthropod diversity to parrotfish feeding behaviour. During my MSc, I participated in many scientific cruises deploying cameras and collecting seafloor imagery. I am now pursuing a PhD at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton UK, on habitat mapping still using deep-sea benthic imagery.

Kim Juniper

School of Earth & Ocean Sciences and Department of Biology, University of Victoria

01/2009 - 08/2011

Ecosystem Function, EF-13: Community dynamics and natural variability

My work focused on examining the response of deep-sea benthic organisms (deeper than 400m) to changes in their environment.  My study site was Barkley Canyon off the west coast of Canada and my main sampling tools were cameras; submersible mounted, linked to cable observatories and remotely operated over the internet as well as deployed autonomous systems.  A large part of my work involved the development of tools and protocols to ensure that these camera systems can be used to their fullest extent and that quantitative information can be extracted from the gathered imagery.

The specific project/thesis aims are:

1. Develop a methodological approach to employ the remotely-operated video cameras from the NEPTUNE Canada cabled observatory

2. Quantify surface bioturbation from flatfish and sea urchin using a Bayesian approach

3. Suggest a manageable observation protocol to continue monitoring longer time periods

This project provided valuable tools which can be employed to quantitatively examine other ecosystem services using imagery and monitor changes over time.

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