Office: SN-1027 (Marine Geomatics Lab)
Telephone: (709) 864-3097
Fax: (709) 864-3119
Dr. Rodolphe Devillers and Dr. Evan Edinger
Dr. Craig Brown (McGregor GeoScience Ltd., Adjunct Professor at Memorial University)
Dr. Vanessa Lucieer (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia)
B.Sc. Géomatique appliquée à l'environnement (Applied Geomatics)
Université de Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
Multiscale analyses of the influence of seabed morphology and environmental conditions on the abundance and distribution of cold-water corals and sponges in Canada's three oceans
Research Project Description
In trying to improve the knowledge of coral and sponge habitats at a local scale, my research tests the hypothesis that seabed geomorphology plays a significant role on coral and sponge distribution and abundance and that this relation is scale-dependant. I will derive terrain parameters from high-resolution bathymetry representing the seafloor morphology, to analyse statistically the relationship between seabed characteristics and biological data. In addition, I will compare high-resolution bathymetric data to intermediate and broad-scale data to understand the influence of scale on those relationships. I will then use the gained knowledge to predict cold-water corals and sponges distribution in unsampled locations of the Canadian continental shelf.
Bathymetric data, video data and oceanographic data of cold-water coral and sponge habitats were collected with the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) ROPOS in my two main study areas, off Newfoundland and Labrador and in British Columbia. ROPOS dived between 1000 and 3000 meters depth in the Flemish Cap and the Orphan Knoll (Northwest Atlantic), and between 100 and 500 m depth in three areas of the Strait of Georgia (British Columbia).
Overall, my research should help improve scientific understanding of the relationships between bathymetric complexity, surficial geology, oceanography, and cold-water benthic biodiversity, and the influence of scale on these relationships. This project is conducted in the Marine Geomatics Research Lab with the Marine Habitat Mapping Research Group of Memorial University of Newfoundland.
-3D modeling and geomorphometry
-Image processing, GIS and cartography
-Marine biology and environment
Lecours, V., Devillers, R., Edinger, E.N., Brown, C.J., and V.L. Lucieer, 2013. Exploring the role spatial scale plays in marine habitat mapping using multiscale geomorphometric analyses. 12th International Symposium GeoHab 2013, Rome, Italy, May 6-10th.
Lecours, V., Miles, L.L., Devillers, R., and E.N. Edinger, 2013. Data analysis towards the multiscale characterization of cold-water coral and sponge habitats in Canadian waters. Technical report submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador region, REQ. No. F6160-120010, 260 p.
Bagheri, H., and V. Lecours, 2012. Benthic habitat mapping using high-resolution image mosaicking. Sea Technology, 53(10): 15-20.
Devillers, R., Edinger, E., Lecours, V., and K. Jones, 2012. The role of scale in understanding cold-water corals habitats. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS’12), Cairns, Australia, July 9-13th.
Devillers, R., Edinger, E., and V. Lecours, 2012. Deep-sea corals in Newfoundland and Labrador waters, Canada – Overview of the past 10 years of research. Research Seminar, CSIRO, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, June 15th.
Lecours, V., Edinger, E.N., and R. Devillers, 2012. Understanding modern cold-water corals habitats in Canada using multi-scale bathymetric data analysis. Geological Association of Canada and Mineralogical Association of Canada Joint Annual Meeting, St. John’s, NL, Canada, May 27-29th.
Devillers, R., Edinger, E., and V. Lecours, 2012. Improving our understanding of deep-sea corals in the Newfoundland and Labrador waters, Canada. Research Seminar, ARC Centre for Coral Reefs Studies, James Cook University, Australia, April 26th.