UNH Ocean Seminar

Extracting Insight from Multi-Scale Data in the Ocean Twilight Zone

Dr. Emma Cotter

Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2021, 3:10pm

The ocean twilight zone, or mesopelagic zone, spans the region of the ocean 200-1000 m deep and is home to a diverse community of small fishes and other organisms. The low trophic level and daily vertical migration of these organisms makes them a critical part of the ocean carbon cycle and food web, and therefore an understanding of their abundance and distribution is necessary. Estimates of mesopelagic organism biomass and abundance have been made using ship-mounted echosounders, but these estimates rely on necessary, but poorly constrained assumptions. A new cabled instrumentation system, Deep-See, provides in situ acoustic and optical measurements of mesopelagic organisms that can help to elucidate these unknowns. However, quantitative analysis of the volumes of data collected by Deep-See comes with its own challenges. This talk will focus on novel techniques developed to process data collected by the broadband echosounders and holographic camera on Deep-See.


Emma Cotter recently joined the Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she is excited to work on new applications for marine renewable energy. Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she was a part of the Ocean Twilight Zone project. Emma completed her PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington in 2019, where she was an NSF graduate research fellow and developed methods and instrumentation platforms for environmental monitoring at marine renewable energy sites. Broadly, her research interests lie at the intersection of machine learning, ocean instrumentation, and marine renewable energy.