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S CAROLAN Coral Assisst_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Sophie Carolan

Masters by Research student  


Supervisors: Dr. James Guest, Adriana Humanes,

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At an early age, diving in the Red Sea amongst spectacular coral, I knew that I had found a lifetime interest. Later as a volunteer with Barefoot Conservation in Indonesia I was assigned to the ‘Coral Team,’ conducting benthic surveys which developed my love of coral.

I completed my B.Sc. in Marine Biology at Newcastle University, and my dissertation project in partnership with Operation Wallacea examined the “Importance of Architectural Complexity of Coral Reefs for the Abundance and Biodiversity of Honduran Fish: A Comparison of Methods”. This research focused on a new method of assessing architectural complexity using the Young et al. 2017 (PLoS One) methodology of 3D modelling via structure-from-motion/photogrammetry, alongside multiple metrics of complexity (rugosity index, fractal dimension and vector dispersion). 

After graduating I worked as a project supervisor for Operation Wallacea’s “Team 3D” in Honduras. Supervising a similar, though greater scale project, mapping large sections of the reef in 3D and recording fish biomass and abundance data through Stereo-Video-Surveys. 

I have since worked on a coral reef restoration project in the Seychelles, maintaining the coral nurseries and conducting resilience surveys to better understand how our restoration effects are influencing the reefs around Cousin Island. 

My interest in coral research continues to grow and to develop further I am now back at Newcastle for the MRes in Marine Ecosystems & Governance. My aim is to develop a model using coral growth, mortality, and reproductive data, to guide restoration projects on what to do at the present time, to achieve their future goals for reef restoration. After my Masters, I hope to continue my career in Academia, hopefully combining research with teaching. 

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