Aylis Emerit

PhD student

I graduated from a BSc (Hons) in Applied Freshwater and Marine Biology with first-class honours in 2021 in ATU Galway City, and was awarded the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI) Undergraduate of the Year award 2020/2021 for my 4th year project focusing on spatial distribution modelling. After graduation, I undertook the Marine Institute’s Bursary Programme where I specialised in oceanographic data inventory, analysis and management. Shortly after, I joined the MFRC as a research assistant on a project aiming at assessing the pollution burdens and risks to small cetaceans in Irish waters.

In 2022, I joined the Marine Institute as a Scientific and Technical Officer to work on the MAPAFISH Project where I assessed in detail Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and their associated fishing activities in Ireland with the aim of evaluating future MPA management processes and provide best-practice advice.

My research interests include remote sensing, ecosystem-based fisheries management and marine spatial planning. In April 2024, I joined the MFRC as a PhD Researcher (Cullen Fellow funded by the Marine Institute), looking at providing evidence-based advice on the use of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in MPA monitoring and management, in support of Ireland’s emerging marine spatial planning framework.

Project Title
Assessing the use of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles to monitor Ireland’s Marine Protected Areas and provide best practice advice


Project profile
This project, along with its multi-disciplinary team, is looking at assessing the use of Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to monitor MPAs and provide best-practice advice on their use. This includes the investigation of UAV flyover methods to monitor fishing activities, evaluating the abundance and distribution of biological features of interest, and quantifying the nature and extend of anthropogenic activities within selected case studies. This work aspires to generate novel approaches to monitoring, complementing the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework by outlining how human activities interact with each other in MPAs.