REP Project

June 17, 2022

Ocean Data acquisition for estimating Lagrangian dispersal in the marine environment

Photo of Madog research vessel taken from the air

Location: Bangor University, School of Ocean Sciences

Duration: 6-10 weeks

Due to difficulties in making measurements at sea ocean models are the primary tool used to study transport in the marine environment, like: 1) offshore and onshore pollution (i.e., plastic and oil spill); and 2) ecology (i.e., population connectivity and spread of invasive species). Validation of ocean models remains a challenge and requires the acquisition of in situ data to improve accuracy.

In this project, you will be collecting data from small boats in the coastal environment to validate our ocean models. The data you collect will be used to evaluate the accuracy of numerical methods by comparing simulated particle dispersal to Lagrangian drifters. The specific objectives of the project are: 1) collect data using three types of Lagrangian drifters (REEF and Microstar: https://www.pacificgyre.com/; and ‘low-cost in-house’ drifters); 2) use data to validate an existing hydrodynamic model; 3) use data to validate particle tracking model; and 4) write a report that will contribute to a peer-review journal publication.

The project comprised of two parts:

  • You will be involved in a small boat fieldwork campaign to collect extensive drifter and ADCP datasets in the area of Conwy Bay (North Wales, UK).
  • Analyse and organize the collected data set to compare with previous numerical simulations.

We are seeking a highly motivated undergraduate for this opportunity to undertake a 8-week placement. You will gain knowledge in numerical modelling, coding and statistical studies, which are now used in most areas of research. Also, you will gain specific technical skills to study the marine environment: 1) by doing field work and using different instrumental devices (ADCP, CTD, Lagrangian drifters); and 2) by studying the physics marine environments (tides, waves, sea/air interaction). Finally, you will benefit being part of a multidisciplinary team (Oceanographer, Modeller and Ecologist), which will open your mind to several research areas.

For more information, or informal enquiries, please email Dr. Jonathan Demmer: j.demmer@bangor.ac.uk and/or Prof. Simon Neill: s.p.neill@bangor.ac.uk.

To apply

We encourage applications from students from all backgrounds. Please check you meet the eligibility criteria before completing the online data collection form; this form is a mandatory part of the application process, but contains ‘prefer not to say’ options for all questions asked.

Once you have completed the online data collection form you will receive an email with the application form and details of how to apply to the supervisor. The application form should be completed and emailed to the lead supervisor along with a reference from your personal tutor.