In May 2018, Laura Kaikkonen from FEM travelled to Santa Barbara, California to attend the annual Geohab - Marine Geological and Biological Habitat Mapping conference. The conference brings together a multidisciplinary crowd of marine scientist from the fields of geology, ecology, statistics, marine biology, oceanography and management. The programme featured talks on both the practical applications of habitat mapping, analysing spatial habitat data as as well as using data for enhanced marine conservation and spatial planning.
Laura gave a talk in the marine minerals session on the results of the first chapter of her PhD research on the environmental impacts of seabead mineral extarction in the Smartsea project Her talk was titled "Assessing the impacts of manganese nodule extraction - Implications for environmental risk assessment". For her, the conference was an inspiring opportunity for knowledge exchange between researchers and offers interesting possibilities for future research for linking habitat characterization to spatial conservation planning. Laura was awarded the Ron MacDowell student award to attend the conference, thank you for the support!
More information on the conference at the official website. In 2019 the conference will be held in St. Petersburg and hosted by the Russian Geological Research Institute.