Kat Robert, MSc Student I did my undergraduate degree in wildlife biology at McGill University where I studied a wide array of topics ranging from canopy arthropod diversity, song bird migration patterns and parrotfish feeding behaviour. For my Master’s, I chose to focus on marine ecology and biological oceanography. I am interested in examining the response of benthic organisms to changes in their environment. My work focuses on deep-sea communities (deeper than 400m); both in the soft sediments along the continental slope and in hydrothermal vent systems. In the first case, I am aiming at quantifying surface bioturbation and explore how this ecosystem service may change following seasonal increases in organic matter sinking down from phytoplankton blooms in surface waters. At the hydrothermal site, I am looking at how organisms behaviourally respond to temperature fluctuations over short spatial and temporal scales.
My main sampling tools are cameras; submersible mounted, linked to cable observatories and remotely operated over the internet as well as deployed autonomous systems. A very large part of my work involves the development of tools and protocols to ensure that these camera systems are used to their fullest extent and that useful information can be extracted from the gathered imagery. Over the course of my degree, I also had the opportunity to get involved with many at-sea operations where we deployed a variety of instruments. Due to the technical difficulties and high costs associated with deep-sea research, there remains many mysteries about these remote habitats and their baseline state needs to be characterized before increased anthropogenic activities start affecting their functioning.
Contact me at email@example.com
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