Development and applications of fixed-wing water-landing (FWWL) Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in marine and freshwater conservation

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Wolfson Sch of Mech, Elec & Manufac Eng


This PhD is a multidisciplinary project combining spatial ecology, conservation science, policy and management, design and engineering. Methods will be developed for the application use of FWWL UAVs for effective fisheries surveillance, the identification of spatial and temporal patterns of megafauna distribution, and for the detection and quantification of plastic pollution. Marine and freshwater systems present considerable challenges for resource management and wildlife conservation, in order to achieve food security. Understanding the fine scale distribution of megafauna, fishing activity and pollution can help in identifying wildlife vulnerability, assess fisheries resource status and mitigate human pressures. Using case studies in Lake Victoria, Seychelles, UK and BIOT this project will conduct trials and systematic surveys addressing 3 areas of global conservation concern: 1) fisheries surveillance, 2) megafauna distribution, and 3) plastic pollution. The drone will be designed using a systems engineering approach identifying software and image processing protocols, in order to establish standards of use and for applications by marine protected area and fisheries managers.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/R012245/1 01/10/2017 31/12/2023
2468437 Studentship NE/R012245/1 01/07/2019 31/03/2023 Melissa Schiele
NE/W502959/1 01/04/2021 31/03/2022
2468437 Studentship NE/W502959/1 01/07/2019 31/03/2023 Melissa Schiele