TLP partners up with Swansea University for research PhD

Artist’s impression – Swansea Bay tidal lagoon (Image: TLP)

Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) is collaborating with Swansea University on a PhD research programme that will investigate floating and fixed artificial reefs as biodiversity enhancements in coastal waters to mitigate loss of habitat by sea-level rise and renewable energy infrastructure.

In this project the student will study general principles of the interaction between characteristics of substrate and biodiversity and test several novel artificial reef structures.

Marine and coastal habitats are increasingly modified by infrastructure associated with marine renewable energy projects such as the proposed Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, as well as coastal defence measures against flooding, according to Swansea University.

The objective of this project is to test existing concepts and products currently mostly used in freshwater environments, and adapt them for marine and coastal applications.

The student will design and carry out field experiments in different coastal habitats and assess the impact of such artificial reefs on biodiversity, focusing on benthic invertebrates, fish and other coastal fauna.

Studies will be carried out in collaboration with the company partner Tidal Lagoon Power and with associated bioengineering companies.

It is expected that the project will assist Tidal Lagoon Power to inform efforts to minimise the impacts of projects by maintaining and enhancing as far as possible intertidal and subtidal environments.

Furthermore, the work will allow the company to integrate biodiversity-enriching designs in future lagoon proposals and develop environmental enhancement strategies, according to Swansea University.

The scholarship is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys, and University’s Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) II programme.

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is set for August 26, 2016.

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