PhD Opportunity: Tracking Marine Wildlife With Drones

The OSCARE Lab at Loughborough University is now accepting applications for a fully funded PhD position researching marine species using drones, image processing, and machine learning to classify marine megafauna and understand the impacts of human activities like illegal fishing on populations.

Apply by 19 February 2021 for consideration.

Begin your application here!

Date published: 2021/01/04

Project Details

 Full-time: 3 years

 Start date: 1 October 2021

This project offers the opportunity to integrate Unoccupied Ariel Vehicles (UAV's) or 'drone' technology with cutting edge image processing and machine learning methodologies to allow the development of tools for understanding impacts of human activities on our ocean environments to advance sustainability and conservation goals.

With global concerns around climate change and human impact on the environment, technology is likely to play a major role in the development of a sustainable future. Human activities like illegal fishing and effects such as pollution from toxins, plastics and noise in our oceans and waterways can all have potential impacts on eco systems.  The potential range and consequence these impacts are however still currently poorly understood.

Technology can therefore play a major role in the monitoring and development of an understanding of these types of impacts on complex physical and biological eco-systems. This project plans to develop advanced monitoring tools using aerial drone technology combined with cutting edge image processing and machine learning methodologies. These systems will be used for real time detection and classification of marine megafauna for example whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles as well as potentially undesirable human activities such as illegal fishing.

The person undertaking this project would be joining a strong marine drone and underwater research team already working towards the advancement of technology and methodologies for conservation and sustainability goals. This is an engineering project involved in cutting edge system integration of methods and technologies as well as experimental design, implementation, field work but also potentially drone piloting and management.

See the full position listing here.

Fees and Funding

UK and International Fee: Fully funded, Full-time degree per annum

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.

Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and other advertised projects starting with advert reference ‘SAM21’ for the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering.

If awarded, each 3-year studentship will provide a minimum tax-free stipend of £15,285 per annum, plus tuition fees at the UK rate (minimum £4,407). Exact values are still to be confirmed. International (including EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will cover the International Tuition Fee only and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified end of March 2021.

Apply Now!

Apply by 19 February 2021 for consideration.

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Electronic, Electrical & Systems Engineering’. Please quote reference number: SAM21/09.

Begin your application here.

Share drone resources and opportunities in our group forum!

Continue the discussion… Drones