Modelling the distribution of structuring species in the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent seamounts

Type: 
Master Thesis subject (30 ECTS)
programme: 
EMBC+
Recent climate change has produced several shifts in the distribution and abundance of numerous marine species. Such is the case for kelp forests and gorgonian species, important structuring species whose ranges have been contracting in many regions worldwide. Synthesizing field observations and modelling the ecological requirements of these species is therefore vital to understand climate-induced range shifts. The aim of this MSc thesis is to produce important distribution data of deep kelp and gorgonian species in the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent seamounts, to model their ecological requirements and predict their potential distribution. The student will analyse videos performed by Remoted Operated Vehicles (provided by OCEANA) and the current literature to gather occurrence records of of deep kelp and gorgonian species. Ecological niche modelling will be used to assess the main drivers shaping these species’ distribution and to predict their potential distribution. The student will be trained to perform video analysis, database integration in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ecological modelling.
prerequisites: 
Students must own a PC (regular laptop is ok).
Number of students: 
1
academic year: 
2016-2017
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Jorge Assis
Other people involved: 
Ester Serrão Joana Boavida
Institutes Involved: 
Reference Number: RP-39751