Dr Caroline Cusack - Irish Marine Institute.

Dr Caroline Cusack is an Ocean Observations team leader in the Marine Institute.

She is a biological oceanographer and her professional career has involved leading multidisciplinary research project teams working on ocean observing activities and marine environmental monitoring programmes.

Over the last 20 years, Caroline has spent time participating in oceanographic surveys from coastal waters to the deep ocean. Her work involves a broad range of developmental research, from the deployment of oceanographic equipment (e.g. weather/data buoy, ADCP, drifters etc.) through to other aspects of physical, chemical and biological oceanography. Research projects of interest to Caroline include those with a focus on the co-development of oceanographic and climate services to deliver products that can both help protect marine ecosystems and support sustainable marine economic activities.


Professor Andrew Wheeler - UCC’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES).

Professor Andy Wheeler is a marine geologist interested in sediment transport and sedimentation in the seabed.

He is particularly noted for this work on bio-geoconstruction of cold-water coral reefs. His work covers seabed mapping to ocean drilling, shelf seas to the deep ocean, seabed environmental change to the utilization of seabed resources. He has led numerous ocean exploration surveys with results featuring on national and international news inc. National Geographic Television. He is currently the Head of the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences in University College Cork and on the Executive Management Committee of the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences.


Dr. Sergei Lebedev - Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies
Geophysics Section.

Sergei Lebedev has received a PhD in geophysics from Princeton University in 2000 and was a researcher at MIT and Utrecht University before joining the Dublin Institute for Advanced Study as Mallet Assistant Professor of Seismology in 2008. His research interests include seismic imaging of the Earth’s interior and the structure and evolution of the crust and underlying mantle. His research within the iCRAG Geophysics Platform is on development and application of new methods for processing and inversion of very large seismic and other geophysical datasets.


Dr Aaron Lim - UCC School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES).

Dr Lim PhD.BSc (Hons)is a Marine Geoscientist with interests in habitat mapping, sedimentary processes and geomatics/GIS. Dr Lim received his PhD in 2017 from University College Cork, where he utilised multiscale multibeam mapping coupled with ROV-video mosaics to understand the processes affecting a chain of cold-water coral reefs in the NE Atlantic. During his PhD, he was awarded several research grants, scholarships and awards which has now continued into his post-doctoral career. Dr Lim has participated in over 15 research cruises (chief scientist on four) and is a member of the EuroFleets + Scientific Advisory Committee. Dr Lim is a participant on the H2020 project “Integrated Assessment of Atlantic Marine Ecosystems in Space and Time” ( and is a researcher on the Science Foundation of Ireland-funded project MMMonkey_Pro (


Dr Chris Mc Gonigle - Ulster University.

Chris McGonigle is a Senior Lecturer in Marine Science at Ulster University. Chris does applied research in seafloor mapping, examining the links between acoustic classification, physical properties of marine sediments and benthic community structure. His interdisciplinary research interests are focused on understanding what is driving patterns of biodiversity in marine environments, and how we can use acoustic techniques to develop our ability to monitor and conserve these resources most effectively. Specific projects he is currently involved in include: mid-water and ocean floor mapping for fisheries stock assessment, species distribution and hydrodynamic modelling for benthic habitat mapping. This work is at the interface of marine ecology, acoustics, spatial analysis and numerical modelling. Chris’s research has societal relevance and impact with implications for sustainable development of marine resources, and the conservation of marine biodiversity.

Chris has been involved in more than 10 seagoing expeditions over the course of the last 15 years on the Marine Institute Ireland State Research Vessels (RV. Celtic Voyager, RV. Celtic Explorer, ROV Holland I and the Agri-Food Biosciences Institute (AFBI)’s RV Corystes.

Chris is also Affiliate Faculty at Alaska Pacific University, and has several collaborative PhD studentships with US partners in Cornell University and Northeastern University, Boston. He is a member of the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART) Steering Committee and Academic Advisory Board, and the NERC National Marine Facilities Advisory Board. Chris is currently PI on the MI’s Specialist Marine Research Equipment and Small Infrastructure, PI on and CI on Interreg VA project Marine Protected Area Management and Monitoring (MarPAMM) and PI on Arts and Heritage Research Council GCRF funded research ‘Establishing a framework for Traditional Heritage Knowledge in sustainable development of East African small-island and coastal communities (THeK-EA)’.


David O'Sullivan - Irish Marine Institute.

“The three year project, called SeaRover (Sensitive Ecosystem Assessment and ROV Exploration of Reef) is led by the Marine Institute and INFOMAR, the national seabed mapping programme, and funded by the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). During that time at sea the survey team have mapped 154 separate locations within Ireland’s marine territory, in one of the most significant deep water benthic habitat assessments undertaken in this country. The data and findings will contribute to good fisheries practice and the sustainable management of Ireland’s marine biodiversity. The survey utilised the Marine Institute’s Remotely Operated Vehicle, ROV Holland 1 to capture high-definition footage of reef habitats up to 3000 m deep, and to recover biological and sediment samples from 52 locations along the continental margin. The cross government initiative was supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, and Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment as part of the Marine Institute’s implementation of the Marine Biodiversity scheme.”