Aaron Lim

Aaron Lim

Contact Details:

Position:

PhD Student

Supervisor:

Prof. Andy Wheeler

'If the environment is the theatre, than evolution is the play' - G. Evelyn Hutchinson

 

BIOGRAPHY

I graduated from B.Sc (Hons) Earth Science at University College Cork in 2012. During this degree, I was heavily influenced by Dr. Boris Dorschel, Prof. Andy Wheeler and Prof. Robert Devoy such that I developed a passion for marine geology, sedimentology, seabed mapping and their links to environmental change. This interest led me to participate on research cruises and, in particular, a research cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This month-long cruise played a vital role in confirming, not only my interest in this field but also, my ambition for a career submerged in marine geoscience research.  

I started my PhD project on April 1st, 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Andy Wheeler. The project is entitled 'Spatio-temporal patterns and controls on Cold Water Coral development: the Moira Mounds, Porcupine Seabight, Offshore Ireland'.      



RESEARCH INTERESTS

My general research interests are in recent (Quaternary) and contemporary environmental change, modern and recent sedimentology as well as seabed mapping as a vital tool in understanding seabed functioning. My pet interest is in multibeam mapping techniques.

My PhD research is concerned with Cold-Water Coral (CWC) reef sedimentology and mapping. CWC's flourish in the North East Atlantic along the Irish continental margin between 600 m and 1000m below sea level. They occur in several forms; isolated colonies, small patch reefs and giant coral carbonate mounds [A. J. Wheeler et al., 2011]. It is now widely accepted that CWC can form positive topographic features (mounds) on the seabed in areas with an adequate hydrodynamic, biological and sedimentological system (temperature, surface productivity, pH, substratum, enhanced current speeds, salinity, sediment supply and food supply) [Dorschel et al., 2007; Foubert et al., 2011; A. J. Wheeler et al., 2007; A. J. Wheeler et al., 2011]. Not only are CWC important archives of deep sea environmental change but they also establish biodiversity 'hot spots'.

The project examines CWC reef variability and heterogeneity on various scales: single reef, reef-chain (local), regional and temporal. The project uses high-definition ROV-derived video, ROV-based multibeam data and groundtruthing samples (box-cores, gravity cores and grabs) to examine the development of these mounds in space and time. The project tightly collaborates with IFREMER (France), University Milano-Bicocca (Italy), Alfred Wegner Institute (Germany) and University of Fribourg (Switzerland).   

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

A.J. Wheeler, B. Murton, J. Copley, A. Lim, J. Carlsson, P. Collins, B. Dorschel, D. Green, M. Judge, V. Nye, J. Benzie, A. Antoniacomi, M. Coughlan, K. Morris, (2013), Moytirra: Discovery of the first known deep-sea hydrothermal vent field on the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of the Azores, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, n/a-n/a.

Lim, A., (2012) A Geological and Geomorphological characterisation of 45°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Unpublished undergraduate thesis. Supervisors: Prof. Andy Wheeler and Dr. Fiona Calkwell.

A. Lim, A.J. Wheeler, A. Vertino, S. Spezzaferri, V.A.I. Huvenne, H. de Haas, (in prep.) Hydrodynamic and Sedimentological Influences on Cold-Water Coral Reef Development: western Moira Mounds, Irish-Atlantic margin- in preperation for EPSL

A.J. Wheeler, B. Murton, J. Copley, A. Lim, J. Carlsson, P. Collins, B. Dorschel, D. Green, M. Judge, V. Nye, J. Benzie, A. Antoniacomi, M. Coughlan, K. Morris, (2013), Moytirra: Discovery of the first known deep-sea hydrothermal vent field on the slow-spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of the Azores, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, n/a-n/a.

Lim, A., (2012) A Geological and Geomorphological characterisation of 45°N on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Unpublished undergraduate thesis. Supervisors: Prof. Andy Wheeler and Dr. Fiona Calkwell.

 

Posters/Presentations

A. Lim, A. Wheeler, A. Vertino, S. Spezzaferri, V.A.I. Huvenne (2015), Local-scale Hydrodynamic and Sedimentological Influences on Cold-Water Coral Reef Development. GEOHAB, Salvador, Brazil (Oral presentation)

Lim, A., Wheeler, A.J., Arnaubec, A., Vertino, A., Spezzaferri, S., Dorschel, B., (2014), Piddington Mound: Geological Habitat Mapping and Sedimentology. Oral presentation at COCARDE Workshop and Field Seminar, 'Bridging off-shore and on-land research on carbonate mounds: common concepts and techniques', Copenhagen, Denmark

A. Lim, A. Wheeler, A. Arnaubec, A. Vertino, B. Dorschel, S. Spezzaferri (2014), Geological habitat mapping and sedimentology at the Moira Mounds. GEOHAB, Lorne, Australia (Oral presentation)

Lim, A., Vertino, A., Wheeler, A.J., Spezzaferri, S., Dorschel, B., Arnaubec, A., (2013), Spatio-Temporal Patterns and Controls on Cold-Water Coral Reef Development: the Moira Mounds, Porcupine Seabight, Offshore Ireland. Poster & oral presentation at COCARDE Workshop and Field Seminar, 'Bridging off-shore and on-land research on carbonate mounds: common concepts and techniques', Sicily, 23-27 September 2013.

INFOMAR Seminar series (2013): Poster presentation

Geosciences, Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland (2013): Poster presentation

Irish Geological Research Meeting, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland (2014): Poster presentation

 

Awards/Grants

 

  • Networking and Travel Award (Marine Institute, 2015)
  • Presidents Award (UCC) Research into innovative forms of teaching (2014)
  • CoCARDE-ERN-ESF (European Science Foundation) Young Researchers Award, Denmark (2014)
  • Ron McDowell Award (GEOHAB) Lorne, Australia (2014)
  • CoCARDE-ERN-ESF (European Science Foundation) Young Researchers Award, Sicily (2013)
  • IGA-CRH (Irish Geological Association) Postgraduate Research & Travel Award (2013)
  • Devoy Prize 2012: Best 2012 Earth Science Research Project
  • SEFS Merit of Results 2012: Awarded by the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science as a top graduate of 2012 (First class honours B.Sc)

 

Research Cruises

QuERCi (Quantifying EnviRonmental Controls on reef growth) June, 2015 RV Celtic Explorer, Belgica Mound Province and Porcupine Bank Canyon, NE Atlantic: ROV-based MBES (EM 2040) (forward facing on cliff face and traditional downward facing), ROV video mosaicking, Chirp seismic and box core sampling

SMART-AWI, Sep. 2014 RV Celtic Explorer, Belgica Mound Privince, Porcupine Seabight: drop camera, gravity core, box core, day grab, MBES, GIS.

WICPro (West of Ireland Coring Programme), March 2014 RV Celtic Explorer, Belgica Mound Province, Porcupine Bank Canyon and Western Ireland continental-shelf: Gravity, Vibro- and Box core survey with pinger and sparker seismics. Day shift leader.

Geotechnical Survey, January 2014 RV Celtic Explorer: CPT and sparker seismic survey.

CTD Survey, December 2013 RV Celtic Voyager.

MDACS/Geotechnical survey, Feb. 2013 RV Celtic Explorer: drop camera, seismic, multibeam, vibrocore

VENTuRE survey, June/August 2011 RV Celtic Explorer: Surveying and sampling of the Moytirra hydrothermal vent field, 45N Mid-Atlantic Ridge. ROV video and ROV-based multibeam survey of Moira Mound Cold-Water Coral reefs, Porcupine Seabight. Subject of Major NatGeo Documentary.

 

Courses

2015: IXBLUE - Sub-bottom profiler acquisition and interpretation, Celtic Explorer, offshore Ireland

2015: Kongsberg Maritime - EM 302, EM 2040 and SIS Operators course - Horten, Norway

2014: Irish Graduate Geoscience Program - Advanced GIS, National College of Ireland, Maynooth.

2014: School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences - Teaching and Learning, University College Cork.

 

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Distillery Field Campus, Cork

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