Office: SN-1027 (Marine Geomatics Lab)
Telephone: (709) 864-3097
Fax: (709) 864-3119
Dr. Rodolphe Devillers and Dr. Evan Edinger
Dr. Craig Brown (Research Scientist at the Nova Scotia Community College and Adjunct Professor at Memorial University)
Dr. Vanessa Lucieer (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Australia)
Marine Geomatics Research Lab (www.marinegis.com)
Marine Habitat Mapping Research Group (www.mun.ca/geog/research/mhmrg.php)
B.Sc. Géomatique appliquée à l'environnement (Applied Geomatics)
Université de Sherbrooke
Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
D.E.C. Sciences Pures et Appliquées (Pure and Applied Sciences)
Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe
Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada
Multiscale analyses of the influence of seabed morphology and environmental conditions on the abundance, distribution, and ecology 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, surficial geology and the near-bottom oceanography play 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.
-3D modeling and geomorphometry
-Image processing, GIS and cartography
-Marine ecology and environment
Lecours, V., 2014. Using Geospatial Technologies to Explore the Deep-Sea at Multiple Scales (poster). Esri Canada User Conferences, Fall 2014.
Lecours, V., 2014. Are Oceans still the Earth's Last Frontier? Using Remote Sensing to Explore the Unknown. The 16th Annual Aldrich Interdisciplinary Conference, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, Canada, March 21-23th .
Lecours, V., Devillers, R., and E.N. Edinger, 2013. Surrogacy in the Deep Sea: Linking Biogeography with Terrain Morphology, Surficial Geology and Oceanography. ACAG 25th Annual Meeting, Université de Moncton, Moncton, NB, Canada, October 18-20th .
Lecours, V., Tzekakis, D., Devillers, R., Brown, C.J., and E.N. Edinger, 2013. Using underwater acoustic remote sensing to investigate spatial and temporal scales in habitat mapping. Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, St. John's, NL, Canada, August 11-15th .
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 (poster). 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.
Lecours, V., and Y.F. Wiersma (chairs), 2013. Exploring Biogeographic and Ecogeographic Questions using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems, special session presented at the Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, St. John's, NL, Canada, August 11-15th.
Awards and Distinctions
Honorable Mention for the 2014 Esri Canada Young Scholars Award (Runner-up and top ranked PhD student)
The Vice-President (Research) Prize Given in Recognition of Excellence in Research and Communication Skills, 2014 Aldrich Conference
2014 Esri Canada Higher Education GIS Scholarship
Runner-up, Founders' Award for best student presentation, ACAG 25th Annual Meeting
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral Scholarship (2013-2016)
Dean's Excellence Award, Memorial University of Newfoundland (2013-2016)
Passed with Distinction, Ph.D. comprehensive examination (December 2012)
Canadian Institute of Geomatics - Student Representative for Newfoundland and Labrador Branch
International Society for Geomorphometry - Student Member
Canadian Association of Geographers - Student Member
Association Québécoise de Télédétection - Student Member
Association de Géomatique Municipale du Québec - Student Member