Julia Mackin-McLaughlin

Office: 4D Oceans Lab, School of Ocean Technology, W1113B.
Email: amackinmclau[at]mun[dot]ca


Dr. Katleen Robert

Previous Education

BS Marine Science (major)
Studio Art (minor), University of Maine 2017

Title of Project

Defining the Distribution and Drivers of Algal Habitats and Invertebrate Assemblages Along the Western Coast of Placentia Bay.

Description of Project

Placentia Bay is a southern embayment in Newfoundland that is a perfect example of the crossroads of ecological integrity and anthropogenic activity. Designated as an Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area (EBSA), it is important to establish a baseline of the present coastal habitats that can serve as a precursor for effective management and conservation efforts. This project utilizes species distribution models and benthic habitat mapping techniques to predict the distribution of 1) the macroalgae Agarum clathratum and non-geniculate coralline algae and 2) the likely predominant benthic invertebrate assemblages along the western coast of Placentia Bay. The project will use machine learning to integrate spatially continuous environmental data, collected via acoustic surveying, and point-wise biological data, collected via underwater camera surveying, to build predictive maps. The field of habitat mapping has seen exponential growth in techniques and technology within the past few decades. As there is always room for improvement, I plan to explore the methodology involved. Specifically, how scale and the machine-learning algorithms selected play a role.

Teaching Assistantship

Fall 2019, Geographies of Global Change (Geography 1050).
Fall 2020, International Migration (Geography 3620).

Research Interests

Ocean Management and Conservation
Benthic Ecology
Benthic Habitat Mapping